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Course Outline

Person fitting a PFD on a passenger

As the operator of a vessel, you are responsible for ensuring that your passengers understand basic safety practices and laws.

  • Use a pre-departure checklist to make sure you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions.
  • Before departing, have a safety discussion with everyone on board. Some of the things you should point out are:
    • Locations of emergency equipment—personal flotation devices (PFDs), fire extinguisher(s), visual distress signals, first-aid kit, and bilge pump
    • The need for all passengers to wear a PFD, especially during times of high vessel traffic, severe weather, or any other dangerous boating conditions
    • Laws about reckless operation, required equipment, and waste disposal
    • Safety procedures for responding to a fire or someone falling overboard
    • How to signal for help or use the VHF radio to make a MAYDAY call
    • How to anchor the vessel and handle lines (ropes)
  • Conduct emergency drills with your passengers so that everyone knows what to do in case of a boating emergency.
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  • Topic 1 of 7
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