Stay safe on the water

  • May. 17, 2013 5:00 p.m.

It’s boating season, stay safe. North American Safe Boating Awareness Week starts May 18 and ends May 24, and delivers five key boating messages that all boaters should know;. wearing a lifejacket is important. drinking and boating is dangerous. taking a safe boating course is vital. be prepared before casting off. falling into cold water is riskyAlso as part of the week, the fourth annual Ready, Set, Wear It initiative will take place, aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of lifejackets and safe boating. Why is this necessary? A 2010 study by Transport Canada reveals that “non- swimmers and weak swimmers continue to boat without a flotation device, and drown as a result.” Another study, by the Red Cross, found that that sixty six percent of boaters often partake in alcohol while aboard. Thirty-seven percent of boaters say they are inebriated every time they boat. What drunk boaters don’t realize is that drinking and boating is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. In fact, an average of 125 boat-related deaths occur annually, and any boater caught under the influence can have his or her license revoked for up to a year. A participant in a drinking and boating test accurately sums it up. “Your perception, your brain, nothing is working and nothing’s really quick, you’re not quick on the draw like you normally are when you’re sober.” More information can be found at www.smartboater.ca.