Thursday, October 22, 2009

Safe boater course now required (Oh, no, Canada!)

Moving to reduce to absolute zero the number of boating mishaps and fatalities, Canada now requires anyone (well, almost everyone) to take a safe boating education course.

That includes old salts and non-Canadian boaters and anglers. Call it the Nanny State, but Canada still has pressed onward.

What the country says now is that visitors to Canada must show proof of having successfully completing a safe boating course from either it or from a state.

Exceptions include persons bringing in their own boats for up to 45 days. Another exception of a kind is that persons visiting a lodge or resort can still use a rental boat and motor if also given something called a boat rental safety checklist.

Officially, this checklist is a document ".. of important safety information relevant to the boat you are renting and the area that you are going to be boating. It is a form that the rental agency would provide and go through with you. It needs to be signed by both the renter and an agent of the rental agency and is valid proof of competence for the duration of your rental," the Canadian authorities say.

Prospective visitors to any Canadian lodge or resort should ask the owner about this subject before signing on the dotted line for a week's stay.

For further information about this important subject, visit Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety's web site at

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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