North American Safe Boating Awareness Week in Canada is happening right now, from May 20 to 26, 2017. The purpose of this initiative, managed by the CSBC (Canadian Safe Boating Council) and its partners, is to promote safe and responsible boating practices to the 14 million Canadians who participate in recreational boating.
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 people now launching their boats after a long winter slumber, the goal of this week is to continue to bring those numbers down by ensuring that Canadians who head out in any type of boat have the appropriate knowledge to help them have a safe day on the water.
The timing of the week, starting on the May long weekend, is perfectly aligned with the unofficial start of summer and a time when many boating fatalities occur.
There are five key boating safety messages being delivered, all directed towards the most common boating related accidents. They include:
1. The importance of wearing a lifejacket
2. The dangers associated with drinking and boating
3. The importance of taking a safe boating course
4. Ensuring that you and your vessel are prepared before casting off
5. The risks associated with a fall into cold water
Ready, Set, Wear It
As a part of North American Safe Boating Awareness Week this year, the 8th annual Ready, Set, Wear It (RSWI) initiative is taking place. Aimed at increasing awareness around the importance of lifejackets and boating safety, RSWI aims to set a new world’s record for the most lifejackets worn and the highest number of inflatable lifejackets inflated. Last year, 6,784 participants from across six countries (including Canada, the USA, Brazil, Japan, Poland, South Korea) took part in this event. The RSWI goal is to bring together boating safety educators, marine enforcement officials, politicians, media and the general public around the world to surpass this number. To see a list of events registered across Canada, visit www.readysetwearit.com.
For additional information on both the event and boating safety information, please visit www.csbc.ca.