Safe Boating Council promotes use of PFD when on the water

June 1, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Victoria Day weekend signals the start of boating season in Canada and with that comes the responsibility of making sure you and the passengers on your craft are safe.

That includes making sure you and all your passengers are wearing approved Personal Flotation Devices (PFD).

The Safe Boating Council held its annual PFD day at the Island Lake Conservation Area on Saturday, May 20, to bring awareness to the importance of making sure you are prepared when heading out on the water.

Volunteers, who are also avid canoe and kayak enthusiasts turned out turned out at the Conservation Area to go for a paddle and take part in the day which is held around the world to set a new record for people all wearing their life saving gear on the same day.

Organizer David Donaldson brought most of the participants through an adventure group that he runs.

“The event is done through the Safe Boating Council of Canada in conjunction with the same council in the U.S. It’s an international event where we try to break the record for the most people wearing PFD every year,” Mr. Donaldson explained. “A couple of years ago we hit 10,000 people which is the record and we are trying to beat that. There are events happening all around the world. This event is used to start off Safe Boating Week since this is kind of the unofficial start of Summer in North America.”

Many boaters are negligent when it comes to safety or just don’t think it will happen to them.

But a sudden accident on the water can end with dire consequences.

“In Canada there is about 166 people who drown every year in boating events. The vast majority, over 90 per cent have life jackets on board but aren’t wearing them,” Mr. Donaldson said. “A lot of people think they can put their life jacket on after they hit the water – but it’s almost impossible.”

The Safe Boating Council encourages everyone to wear a PFD when they are on the water this summer.

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