Tip #1 Lifejackets. Choose it – Use it!

Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device! 

  • Don’t just have it in the boat, pick one and wear it. The vast majority of Canadian boating victims were not wearing a lifejacket or PFD when they drowned. You can compare trying to put on a lifejacket or PFD in an emergency to trying to put on your seatbelt in the middle of a car crash.

Tip #2 Boat Sober

  • Booze/Drugs and boating don’t mix. According to the Canadian Drowning Report 2016 Edition, alcohol consumption was involved in 39% of boating deaths.  Alcohol intensifies the effects of fatigue, sun, wind and boat motion to negatively affect balance, judgement and reaction time. Be smart- don’t drink and drive your boat!

Tip #3  Know before you go! Check the forecast and create a simple safety checklist. 

  • Avoid potential danger by taking a few minutes to make a simple checklist: What’s the weather forecast? Any Local Hazards? What is the condition of the waterways? Where is it shallow? Are there any rapids? Have your maps and charts? Have your lifejackets or PFD’s? Have your first aid kit, tools and spare parts? Enough fuel? Safety equipment all working? Told someone where you’re going and when to expect you back?

Tip #4  Be Within Arm’s Reach and Actively Supervise

Active supervision includes being able to touch, see and hear children. The absence or lapse of adult supervision is a factor in most child drownings.

  • Be Prepared – prepare everything you need before getting into the water such as towels and lifejackets.
  • Be Close – always be able to see and hear your child.
  • All of Your Attention – focus all of your attention on your child, get into the water, and talk and play with them.
  • All of the Time – never leave your child alone in the water or assume others will supervise them.

Tip #5  Bathtub Safety

  • In Canada, bathtubs are the fourth most common location to drown following lakes/ponds, rivers/streams and oceans. Bathtubs are the number one man-made setting where drownings occur in Canada. In Alberta, bathing fatalities are increasing in number. Infants, young children under 5 years and seniors over 65 years of age are especially at risk in the bathtub; two thirds of all infant drowning deaths occur in a bathtub and half of all bathtub drownings occur among seniors aged 65 and older.