About the Study Guide

This Online Study Guide has been approved by Transport Canada strictly on the basis that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Pleasure Craft Operator Card Testing over the Internet (TP 15080E) and the Boating Safety Course and Test Syllabus (TP 14932E). This approval does not represent confirmation of authorship by the course provider. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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If you should capsize or swamp your pleasure craft, or if you have fallen overboard and can’t get back in, stay with the pleasure craft if possible. Your swamped pleasure craft is easier to see and will signal that you are in trouble. Also signal for help using other devices available (visual signals, whistle, or mirror).

  • If you made the mistake of not wearing a lifejacket or PFD, find one and put it on. If you can’t put it on, hold onto it. Have your passengers do the same.
  • Take a head count. Use the “Reach, Throw, Row, or Go” rescue technique, if needed.
  • If your pleasure craft remains afloat, try to reboard or climb onto it in order to get as much of your body out of the cold water as possible. Treading water will cause you to lose body heat faster, so try to use the pleasure craft for support.

Reach, Throw, Row, or Go Rescue Technique

  • Reach: Extend a fishing rod, branch, oar, towel, or other object to REACH out to the victim and pull him or her to safety.
  • Throw: If the victim is too far away to reach, THROW the victim a PFD, a lifejacket, a buoyant heaving line, a lifebuoy, or anything else that will float.
  • Row: If you are in a rowboat, ROW to the victim and then use an oar or paddle to pull the victim to the stern. Let the victim hold onto the stern as you paddle to shore. If the victim is too weak, hold onto him or her until help arrives. If using a powerboat, stop the engine and glide to the victim from the downwind side.
  • Go: Persons without lifesaving training should not swim to a victim. Instead, GO for help. If you must swim, take along anything that floats to keep between you and the victim.
Rescue Technique: Throwing a PFD to a person in the water