The rate deaths and injuries from recreational boating have significantly reduced in the last two decades in Canada. The most attributable reason behind this immense and positive development is the introduction of proof of competency which is making the waterways safer.
Well, before 1999, everyone could operate a boat for recreational purposes even when they were not experienced. However, this has changed over a number of years and only professional, experienced and trained recreational boaters can get into the sea. This has made water accidents to reduce drastically during recreations. So what is a proof of competency?
Proof of Competency
This document is basically a proof that you have some basic understanding of operating a boat and in case of emergency while in the sea, you can save the passengers or yourself. As long as you are in Canada, this is a must have document before embarking on any recreational boating escapades. Proof of competency is a requirement for all motor types.
The following documents usually serve as a proof of competency:
- Original Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
- A marine certificate or its equivalent from List of Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates among others.
- A Rental Boat Safety Checklist
- An Operator Card for visitors showing they are competent in their country
- Have a proof; certificate, that you underwent a Canadian course on boating safety before 1999.
Well the above can save you the hassle and allow you get into the waters of Canada for recreational purposes. Nevertheless, you need to be trained by professionals like aceboater, so as to prove your competency. In Canada is not by mouth, but by a certificate. However, you may not need any proof of competency in these situations:
- When the recreational boating is in the Northwest Territories waters
- When the boat is for subsistence activities to earn a living like for fishing
- When you are a visitor in Canada who brought a boat into their waters for less than 45 simultaneous days
So what do you know about PCOC?
What You Need to Know about Pleasure Craft Operator Card
A PCOC can be used as an alternative of the proof of competency and is usually given after an individual has gone through a course in boating safety which is climaxed with a test in boating safety. There are accredited providers of this course in Canada like aceboater that have been registered byTransport Canada. These boating safety courses usually teach you about:
- The importance of having the right safety gears on board
- How to prevent unsafe circumstances
- Your responsibilities as a boater
- How to tackle an emergency
- How to maneuver the waterways with other users
Whether you decide to go to a classroom setting or do it online, you will need these skills to obtain your PCOC for life. In case, your PCOC get lost, you can always request for a replacement from the course provider who gave you at a little fee.
Youths under the age of 16 years in Canada are not allowed to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) even if they have supervision. Those that are between 12 and 15 years they should operate a motor that has 40hp and 30kW. Those under 12 years should operate a 10hp/7.5kW. To enjoy your recreation in Canada, ensure you have a proof of competency or its equivalent.