There are only four long weekends during the summer, so each one is cherished by Canadians. The Victoria Day long weekend is considered by most as the unofficial start of summer!  It’s the weekend to open the cottage, launch the boat and haul out the water toys. 
 
Historically this weekend has also been one that generates more than its fair share of boating-related incidents and fatalities. We remind those who use our Canadian waterways to boat safely and responsibly, throughout the summer. On long weekends, the converging wakes generated by the increased traffic from sport boats to large cruisers can easily capsize smaller fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks.
 
While air temperatures over the Victoria Day long weekend can often be quite balmy, boaters need to remember that the temperature of the water has only risen a handful of degrees since the ice receded. The cold shock can be deadly should someone fall overboard, or their boat capsizes and sinks.  A good idea to guard against this possibility is to either wear or pack thermal protective clothing to slow the onset of hypothermia until help arrives. This, of course, is in addition to wearing a PFD which will also provide some thermal protection. Having the means to call for help, should it be required, either by marine radio or cell phone (service dependent) is a must.
 
Make sure to have sufficient personal floatation devices (PFDs) on board for everyone. Check them for proper fit as well as for broken zippers or buckles, split seams or excessive wear.  Should any of these be apparent, the PFD must be replaced.
  
Boating sober is an especially important message that boaters need to heed.  Alcohol, recreational drugs or prescriptions narcotics should never be consumed either in advance or while boating. Alcohol accounts for approximately 40% of all boating-related incidents and fatalities.
 
It’s not difficult to have an enjoyable and safe start to your summer. By behaving responsibly on the water, ensuring you have the proper safety equipment aboard
 
To learn more, visit www.csbc.ca for great tips on how to have a safe season on the water.

Occurrence #: BA
Prepared by: Corporate Communications Coordinator,

 

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