Buckles - Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Mascot

Date / Period
Ottawa, Ontario
Object Type
Canadian Red Cross
Swimming and Water Safety

Since 1991, the number of drowning incidents without a lifejacket has nearly doubled in Canada. Of 160 boat fatalities in Canada each year, nearly 90 per cent were not wearing, or improperly wearing, a lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device.

Lifejackets are like seat belts – they don’t work if you don’t wear them. This is one of the messages that Buckles the Red Cross Water Safety Mascot spreads during his visits to pools and community events around the country.

He has even made his way Ottawa to meet with Members of Parliament and policy-makers to help promote his message of water safety on National Lifejacket Day in May each year.

Along with Buckles, the Red Cross has been training swimmers and instructors for 60 years with its extensive programs. AquaTots, AquaQuest and AquaAdults were created to provide maximum swimming and water safety programs with an emphasis on injury prevention, lifejackets and the Haddon matrix, commonly used set of concepts in the injury prevention field.

AquaTots is based on age and participation, AquaQuest is based on continuous evaluation and AquaAdult is based on personal interest and goal setting.

The AquaAdult program works within water safety modules that include basic swimming skills, and lifetime swimming fitness. The program also touches on boating safety, ice safety, home pool safety and waterfront safety.

Even with increased water safety education and awareness programming, research shows that there is still a gap in the behaviour of Canadians when it comes to PFDs, with fewer than half of boaters saying they and other adult passengers always wear lifejackets. 

Buckles hopes to change that! 

Buckles - Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Mascot

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