What is the Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check Program?
Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check is a free, voluntary service to help boaters meet safety standards in equipping their vessels. In 2007, the Office of Boating Safety of Transport Canada expanded the program in the Maritime Provinces.
Who Performs Pleasure Craft Courtesy Checks?
Specially trained members of the Blue Heron Power & Sail Squadron, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGA), Coast Guard Inshore Rescue crews and PEI’s Ground Search and Rescue teams (GSAR) provide Courtesy Checks in Prince Edward Island. The Maritimes Office of Boating Safety coordinates the Courtesy Check program, and has a Memorandum of Understanding for the Courtesy Check program with Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP). Blue Heron Squadron is a unit of CPS-ECP based in Charlottetown. Specially trained Blue Heron Squadron members are called "Boating Safety Volunteers".
What is a "Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check"?
The purpose of a Courtesy Check is to assist the owner of a pleasure vessel up to 20 meters to maintain their vessel's safety equipment at acceptable standards.
The law requires carriage of prescribed safety equipment.
A Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check is neither mandatory nor required by law.
A Courtesy Check is not an inspection, and does not replace an inspection that may be demanded by an enforcement agency.
The information obtained during a Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check will not be forwarded to any enforcement agency.
Personal records of Courtesy Checks are not kept, only anonymous data like overall numbers.
A Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check can take up to 45 minutes. At the boater’s invitation the Boating Safety Volunteer will board their vessel to conduct the check. The Boating Safety Volunteer will examine all of the safety equipment required on the vessel according to the Canada Shipping Act, Small Vessel Regulations and Collision Regulations. The check includes making sure the equipment is present and in good working condition. A check of optional safety and navigational equipment will also be carried out. The Boating Safety Volunteer will also discuss general safety awareness and safe boating practices.
Upon successful completion of the check, a decal will be issued for display on the vessel. Some boaters worry that they will not successfully complete the check. The boater should not be concerned about this. They will be offered suggestions to assist them in remedying any deficiencies.
The objective of the Pleasure Craft Courtesy Check program is to advise boaters and improve their safety and enjoyment while on the water. A boat owner who requests a Courtesy Check demonstrates good seamanship, responsibility and care for the safety of crew and guests.
How do I Request a Courtesy Check?
Charlottetown boaters may request a Courtesy Check from a qualified Blue Heron Squadron member by: