Four boating and water safety tips from the Red Cross

Topics: National, Water Safety
October 14, 2013

Four boating and water safety tips from the Red Cross

Although the summertime is over, many Canadians are still boating on the open water, which highlights the continued importance of practicing water safety.

As one of the most active non-profit organizations in the country, the Canadian Red Cross strives to improve the lives of those in need in numerous ways and to enhance the knowledge that people are able to bring to a variety of emergency situations.

With the four tips below, individuals who are boating can stay safe and ensure that each experience out on the water is rewarding and free of potential emergencies.

1. The importance of lifejackets
The most essential thing that individuals need when they're out on the water is a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD), as this can substantially reduce the potential for drowning or other dangerous aquatic incidents.

2. Avoid alcohol
According to the Canadian Red Cross, 37 per cent of boaters in Canada consume alcohol each time they are on the water, while alcohol has been linked as a factor in more than 40 percent of deaths in recreational boating incidents.

Beer, liquor and wine can negatively impact a boater's judgment and make him or her less likely to maintain control of core motor functions compared to individuals who do not drink on the water, which underscores the importance of being sober while boating.

3. Pay attention to weather conditions
While weather conditions may not seem as essential as wearing a lifejacket or PFD, understanding what the climate and forecast will be like during an upcoming boating experience can be crucial for staying safe while aboard a vessel.

4. Bringing safety gear on board
From marine first aid kits to sunscreen, drinking water, flashlights, sound signaling devices and manual propelling devices, there are a variety of safety devices that should be brought on a boat in order to reduce the likelihood of emergencies.

In addition to these helpful tips, you can also learn more about the benefits of water safety by reaching out to the Canadian Red Cross today.

The programs offered by the Canadian Red Cross can help you and those you care about gain an essential boost in confidence and get prepared to tackle any emergency situations that emerge both in the water and around it.

You can also show your support for the humanitarian work of the Canadian Red Cross by choosing to donate online or in-person at an office in your community. Each contribution is used to help those in need and to enhance the charitable programs of the Red Cross.