May 19 to 25, 2018 will mark North American Safe Boating Awareness Week across Canada. This initiative, managed by the Canadian Safe Boating Council and its partners, aims to promote safe and responsible boating practices among the estimated 15 million recreational boaters in Canada.
Despite a downward trend in boating-related fatalities over the past few years, there are still, on average, over 100 boating-related deaths annually in Canadian waters. With boaters gearing up to launch after a long winter slumber, the goal of the 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 and fun 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 most boating fatalities occur.
The CSBC will focus on five key boating safety behaviours throughout the week. All are directed towards the most common boating-related accidents. These include:
- Wear a Lifejacket
- Boat Sober
- Take a Boating Course
- Be Prepared – Both You and Your Vessel
- Be Aware of the Risks of Cold Water Immersion
The 2018 campaign will also focus on the impending legalization of cannabis, along with the rise in prescription narcotic use across the country. This is a significant cause for concern among boating safety advocate groups, enforcement agencies and first responders alike. Impairment alone has long been proven to be a contributing factor in 40% of Canadian boating fatalities, but the legalization of cannabis has the potential to significantly increase this statistic.
For additional information on both the event and boating safety information, please visit www.csbc.ca.
Photo Credit: CSBC