TORONTO – North American Safe Boating Awareness Week takes place across Canada from May 18 to 24.
Safe Boating Awareness Week, managed by the CSBC (Canadian Safe Boating Council) and its partners, has been created to promote safe and responsible boating practices to the estimated 16 million recreational boaters across Canada.
Although boating-related fatalities have trended downwards in past years, there continues to be an average of over 100 boating related deaths annually in Canadian waters. With Canadians preparing to launch their boats after a long winter slumber, the goal of Safe Boating Awareness Week is to continue to reduce fatalities by ensuring that boaters who head out in any type of vessel have the knowledge and equipment to help them have a safe day on the water.
The timing of the week, starting on the Victoria Day long weekend, is perfectly aligned with the unofficial start of summer and a time when many boating fatalities occur.
The CSBC and its partners are promoting five key messages, all directed towards the most common boating related accidents. They include:
– wear a life jacket;
– boat sober;
– take a boating course;
– be prepared – both you and your vessel; and
– be aware of the risks of cold water immersion.
The legalization of cannabis is causing concern for boating safety advocate groups, enforcement agencies and first responders alike. Alcohol has been proven to be a contributing factor in approximately 40 per cent of all boating fatalities across Canada.
The legalization of recreational cannabis has the potential to significantly increase this statistic. The CSBC emphasizes the importance of not consuming any alcohol or drugs either before or while boating.
For additional information on boating safety visit www.csbc.ca.