BRING THE ESSENTIALS
Always make a plan and leave it with a responsible person before you go. If no one knows you are gone, no one will be looking for you.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Being informed is just as important as being prepared. Knowing the risks and open water hazards involved with the activities you take part in may help prevent an incident from occuring.
GET PROPERLY TRAINed
Every year around 50% of those who die while boating discover too late that even one alcoholic drink can affect balance, slow reaction time and impair ability to think clearly. Marijuana similarly inhibits your abilities.
Wait until you are off the water before consuming alcohol or lighting a joint.
Don’t allow a person who has consumed alcohol or smoked a joint to operate a boat.
Provide non-alcoholic beverages for boat operators and passengers. Non-alcoholic drinks ensure everyone is alert in case of emergency.
Wear approved lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs).
Remember, alcohol is a factor in half of all boating fatalities.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LIFEJACKET
When it comes to choosing a PFD, the Canadian Coast Guard strongly recommends bright colours for better visibility. PFDs are now available in many bright colours and activity appropriate styles. Just check the label to ensure that the PFD is approved by the Canadian Coast Guard.
CHECK THE SIZE
Choose a PFD that is comfortable and allows free movement, including walking and sitting. Try it on and do up all zippers and belts. Pull up on the collar to ensure it does not ride up and interfere with movement or breathing.
CHECK THE CONDITION
Inspect your PFD or lifejacket frequently. Ensure seams are intact, and that snaps, belts or zippers work. If you happen to chose an inflatable type PFD be aware that certain restrictions and criteria apply.
CAUGHT YOU WEARING IT
Post a photo of you in your favorite PFD or lifejacket on the waters of B.C. and tag @WaterWise Team for a chance to win weekly prizes.
Make sure you can be seen on the water. Even in bright, calm conditions a canoe or kayak can be nearly invisible. It is especially difficult for power vessel operators riding high in the water to see these vessels. Choose bright colours such as red, yellow, or orange for your vessel and also for your flotation device. In addition, remember to keep signalling devices within hand’s reach in case of emergency.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Sea kayakers should be aware of their environment (water temperatures, tides, currents, wind, and maritime traffic) at all times.
SWIM WITH A BUDDY
Most drowning victims were found boating alone.