Like most Canadians, I’m starved for sunshine, nature and warm-weather activities by the time the long winter is over.
Every year, I make it my mission to do all the things you can only do when it’s nice outside: beach days, patio drinks, barbecues, outdoor swimming, canoeing.
One thing I always plan to do and never get around to is learning to drive a boat (and learning to sail and surf, but that’s a post for another day).
So when I got a chance to spend a Wednesday morning on Toronto’s waterfront, learning about safe boating with BOATsmart!, I was beyond excited.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sunshine and a cool breeze as you whip through the water.
As fun as boating is, it’s important to remember that it can be dangerous (and illegal) if you don’t take the right precautions.
Sadly, 125 boating-related deaths happen every year in Canadian waters.
That’s why it’s so important to get your boating safety certification (that, and it’s illegal to operate a pleasure craft without it).
Cameron Taylor, the President and CEO of BOATsmart! offers these tips for ensuring you stay safe when you’re on the water.
1. Get certified with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card
2. Always have an approved (by transport Canada) PFD or life jacket on board
3. Don’t drink (this is what causes most deaths on the water)
4. Make sure your safety equipment is working properly
5. Refresh your knowledge regularly
After a quick boating safety lesson on the water with Taylor, I started with number one, and took the quiz to get certified. Let’s just say it was hard (read: I failed). Luckily, I can take the test again in 24 hours. You can take it online as well – and learn everything you need to know as you go.
Want to get certified in time for Victoria Day weekend? Click here to take the exam now.
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor