Key boating safety tips:
- Wear a lifejacket! Most boating fatalities occur when not wearing lifejacket.
- Lifejackets aren't one size fits all - check for proper fit.
- Most drownings occur within 15 metres of shore - wearing a lifejacket alone can save your life.
- Don't drink and drive your boat - it impairs judgment and you could lose your licence.
- 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.