Monday, March 1, 2010

Federal boating laws... yes, they're for real!!

Ya know... it occurs to me that we get a lot of calls from people, asking us if the information that they have read on a particular federal government website, is in fact true. Take boating safety regulations. I can't count the number of calls I have received over the years, where a person will begin by asking me if such and such a regulation is true.

My most recent caller was from Qu├ębec. "These regulations which call for boats 6m - 8m to have so many flares onboard... are these true?"

Now what the Hell am I supposed to answer to that? "No, no... we're just pulling your leg!" "We're just havin' a bit of a laugh at your expense, mate...".

"Absolutely, sir! You require every item that is listed under the 'Minimum Safety Equipment Requirements'.

As it turns out, his boat is actually 19 feet, so it falls into the class of vessels "not over 6m".

The section on DISTRESS EQUIPMENT states:

- a watertight flashlight

- three Canadian-approved flares of type A, B or C

Exception: The flares are not mandatory if the craft is operating in a river, canal or lake in which it can at no time be more than one mile from shore, or if the craft is taking part in an official competition or in the final preparation for an official competition and has no sleeping arrangements.

"Are these new or something...?", he asks.

"No, sir", I reply. "They've been around literally for decades now... even longer!"

"And which bodies of water do you normally navigate?", I then ask him.

"Well... the St.Lawrence, occasionally Lake Ontario...".

"Then I would strongly advise you to have them onboard, sir." "Lake Ontario is definitely more than a mile across."

The funny thing about all this, is that these are the same people that will likely believe the weirdest, most outlandish and totally bullshit story to be found on the internet. But let them start reading about federal government rules, laws and regulations...? All of a sudden it becomes just too much to believe...

People are messed up... :)

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