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Choose It. Use It.

Always wear a lifejacket or PFD
PH-Boating jun 27
Stock photo

Key boating safety tips:

  1. Wear a lifejacket! Most boating fatalities occur when not wearing lifejacket.
  2. Lifejackets aren't one size fits all - check for proper fit.
  3. Most drownings occur within 15 metres of shore - wearing a lifejacket alone can save your life.
  4. Don't drink and drive your boat - it impairs judgment and you could lose your licence.
  5. Carry a safety kit, including a cell phone, and check the weather.

Drowning statistics consistently show that 80% of victims in boating-related drownings were not wearing a lifejacket/PFD. Wearing a lifejacket or PFD is the most effective way to reduce boating-related drownings in Canada.

Many boaters feel false security because they are strong swimmers or because there is a lifejacket within reach. But trying to put a lifejacket on before you capsize, or while in the water, is like trying to buckle your seatbelt right before your car crashes - it's impossible. Anxiety, wave-action, weeds, clothing and especially cold water are all working against your ability to swim to safety.

  • Most people who drown are within 15 metres of safety. The simple act of wearing a lifejacket can save your life by buying you precious time until someone can rescue you.
  • PFDs come in all kinds of styles and colours, including inflatable jackets, so you can be comfortable, stylish and safe.
  • Learn what you need to know when selecting a lifejacket or PFD for adults, children and infants. Educate yourself on PFDs and inflatable lifejackets.
  • The Lifesaving Society strongly advocates that lifejackets/PFDs should be worn by all occupants and passengers of all types of recreational craft six metres or less in length while passengers are on-deck and while the vessel is underway.