Markus introduced his sister in law, Kate Hacker who has spent her entire life in and around boats. Her forefathers started building boats in the 1880's, she spent several summers as a Harbour attendant, was the dock manager at Doral, spent 3 summers during college with the Coast Guard and is now living in Midland and working at Skyline.
Kate said safety involves handling the boat, navigating and maintaining it, following all the proper procedures and taking responsibilbity so every trip is safe and enjoyable. She reminded us that as of last Sept. every boater needs an operator's card or face a $250.00 fine. A copy of the license must be carried on the boat. There are age restrictions and someone under 16 must be accompanied and cannot operate a PWC. Boating is regulated by several Acts and Regulations. The Small Vessel regulations spell out the equipment that must be carried, which varies depending on the size of the boat. The Collision regs require the maintenance of a safe speed, a constant lookout, the use of radar and observing the rules of right of way. The Canada Shipping Act requires every boater to render assistance, unless they would be in danger themselves. The Criminal Code covers dangerous operation of a boat, failure to stop and operating an unseaworthy craft. Boaters can be fined for a variety of misdemeanors such as insufficient life jackets on board and having alcohol on boats that don't have a head even if it's at dock. Of course, operating under the influence is covered as well. Emergency communications include VHF, the operation of which requires a license, Digital Select Calling which has a red button for a distress signal, GPS, which is not required by law but which is very useful, EPIRB which is a bouyant distress signal which will transmit for hours and your cell phone will, with *16, contact the local joint rescue but cell phones can't always be traced but they're still better than nothing. Immersion in cold water creates shock which is more deadly than hypothermia and can cause stroke, paralysis and loss of judgement. PFD's will keep the individual afloat but prolonged immersion will result in hypothermia which is a loss of respiration and eventually loss of consciousness. Try to keep the body out of the water on a floating object, curl up tight or huddle with others to maintain body temp. Always use the boat's blower. CO2 is odourless and can build up in different conditions - while rafted up or alongside a dock, when the boat is poorly trimmed - and the results can be devastating. File a sail plan with a responsible person, know and follow the rules of the road - it's the law as much as if in a car. Arnie thanked Kate for her timely talk and wished her well in her new career.