Kelowna Yacht Club offering free boater safety course

Safety course on the water

The Kelowna Yacht Club is offering a boating safety course in an effort to keep everyone safe while out on Okanagan Lake.

The club was one of two B.C. organizations to receive funding from the Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program.

Club executive director Thom Killingsworth says the course is about ensuring the club is taking care of its members and the public, as it has pledged to do since opening 75 years ago.

“I think it helps our club in our efforts to continually promote safety, and safe enjoyment of Okanagan Lake. It's definitely a real fit for us to continue to do that. We've been offering training for the public and for our members since 1945, but this just allows us to get the word out even more.”

Anyone who operates a power-driven boat must have proof of competency, which is most common in the form of the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). The Boating Safety 101 course is a three-step process that features learning both online and on the water, and the PCOC card can also be obtained at the same time.

“It includes a one hour online Zoom call, kind of like an opening dialogue just to get yourself comfortable with what you're going to be going through. It also includes free access to obtaining your PCOC, and then three hours of practical on-water training, and that's what we're most proud of, because you can go and get your PCOC, but if you’ve never docked your boat or really walked through all the safety aspects of your boat, and understand the mooring process as well as man overboard and how to safely recover someone, we take you through that," said Killingsworth.

The program is free and available to anyone over the age of thirteen. The club will be running weekly sessions all summer long.

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