How do I prepare to operate a boat at BMSC?


To operate small vessels (the Copes) at BMSC, Transport Canada requires the operator to have at a minimum a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) and a valid Marine Basic First Aid, or any 2-day (minimum 16 hr) First Aid + CPR-C course recognized in provinces or territories. ‘In-person’ or ‘blended’ courses that meet the above criteria are acceptable.

Boat checkouts and safety training by BMSC foreshore staff are also required prior to the start of your course.

“Foreign boaters” should link to Transport Canada Visitor Information

Click here for details

Students are not required to operate power boats if they don’t want to. Further, some courses do not involve the use of power boats. However, for many courses it is recommended that students obtain a PCOC and appropriate first aid training so they can operate boats. When they arrive at BMSC, every student in possession of a PCOC (or higher marine safety training) and an 2-day First Aid certificate recognized by a province or territory (e.g. Red Cross, St. John’s) is trained to use our power boats, and given the opportunity to practice their skills prior to being given permission to take the boats outside the inlet.

Fall 2021 Students:

We at the BMSC are excited to potentially offer full use of our Cope fleet for the 2021 Fall Program. This is based on B.C.’s Restart Plan and on B.C. Health Guidelines and restrictions being lifted prior to or during Fall Program. Once BC Health Guidelines permit, boat training and use will be provided to students who hold a valid PCOC certification and 2-day First Aid + CPR-C course (see above). It is necessary to obtain these certifications before arriving at BMSC for the start of the Fall Program, as it is not feasible once the program has begun. Operating boats at BMSC is entirely optional.