Red Cross urges lifejacket use for all boaters
For many Canadians, the summer season means enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing, powerboating or canoeing. But each year, tragic and avoidable boating-related fatalities occur across Canada. A study of the long-term trends indicates that the use of proper safety equipment such as a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) would greatly reduce this number.
Every year, 166 Canadians drown while boating. Of these, 88 per cent are not wearing a lifejacket or do not have it properly secured.
Before heading out on a boat this summer, ensure that all persons on board - even strong swimmers - are outfitted with a correctly sized lifejacket appropriate to the activity. Be aware of and monitor the weather and water conditions, be prepared to head to the nearest point of safety if the conditions change, never consume alcohol before or during a boating outing, and ensure boaters know how to safely operate and load the vessel.
May 15th is National Lifejacket Day
On May 15, 2014, the Canadian Red Cross marks National Lifejacket Day, an annual campaign to encourage and promote the use of lifejackets and PFDs among boaters.
For information on boating safety and how to choose a lifejacket or PFD, download our tip sheet: