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Promoting safe boating

Promoting safe boating

It is May Long weekend.  The unofficial launch of the boating season.  Boats and boaters undergo a ritual of cleaning, provisioning, maintenance and trip planning.  It is a good time to check safety gear, such as life-jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, running lights, bilge pumps, anchors, radios and other important safety equipment, and to review the response procedures with your family and crew members.  A basic reference document is Transport Canada’s “Safe Boating Guide”. It is available on line at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca . This Guide gives an excellent summary of all the mandatory safety requirements for various sizes of recreational boats, and helpful advice for additional safety equipment and practices.

Peter Forster of Station 12 was recently awarded the RCM SAR Robert McKee “Stitch” Service Award for his station leadership, commitment to others and compassion in action. Janis Franklin photo

RCM SAR Station 12 provides search and rescue capability to the central Sunshine Coast with our two boats – one in Secret Cove and one in Porpoise Bay.  To promote safe boating, we also provide a safety check service.  We have eight members of Station 12 who are trained to carry out safety checks on pleasure craft up to 24 metres in length.  It is a roughly a 40-point check list. It is free and entirely voluntary.  A safety check takes about an hour. The result of a safety check is a written report to you, the owner. The RCM SAR report looks a lot like the 50-point safety check on your car when you have it serviced, with all the mandatory requirements checked (Yes or No) and recommendations for corrections or improvements. Boats that check Yes for all the requirements also receive a sticker that demonstrates compliance.

Why is this important?

• First, recreational boats in BC are required by law to meet certain safety requirements. Owners of boats can be fined by the law enforcement agencies (RCMP, Coast Guard, Transport Canada, etc) if the boat is not in compliance.

• Second, concerns your boat insurance. Insurers do look favourably on those owners that have the up to date safety check.  It is also reassuring for the owner to know that if you did have an accident and a claim, a record of a passed safety check could be important.

• Third, is your own peace of mind.  Boating in BC waters, for most of the time is pretty benign. But weather can turn bad, fast, and mechanical problems can arise unexpectedly. It is good to know that you have covered the bases to protect your vessel, family and friends.

Arrange a Pleasure Craft Safety Check by calling 604-889-1948 or emailing: info@rcmsar12.org.

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