How to stay safe on your pleasure craft

Topics: National, Water Safety
July 31, 2012

How to stay safe on your pleasure craft

Too often, individuals believe that boats are much safer than automobiles, and therefore fail to take proper precautions to prevent incidents and ensure water safety. But despite their name, pleasure crafts present a number of hazards for which people should be prepared.

Perhaps the most important safety tip is to remember that everyone on the boat – even pets – needs to be wearing life jackets. Statistics from the Canadian Red Cross indicate that an estimated 85 per cent of drowning and hypothermia deaths occur when an individual is not wearing a life jacket, or wearing it improperly.

Alcohol consumption is another serious danger while boating. Alcohol is present or suspected in 46 per cent of recreational boating immersion deaths for fatalities involving those 15 years of age and older

Knowing how to swim and properly operate a boat may significantly reduce the chances of drowning or incidents. The Canadian Red Cross offers swimming lessons to help strengthen these integral skills. Additionally, boat owners should be sure to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card through Transport Canada in order to minimize their risk of potentially fatal emergencies.

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