This week is National Drowning Prevention Week—an opportunity to reflect on the importance of practising safe boating habits that help prevent drownings.
For many Canadians, summer is the time to enjoy the warmer weather by the water.
Drowning is now the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age. Each year, over 400 Canadians drown in preventable incidents, and around 100 of those drownings are related to recreational boating. In over 80% of these fatalities, a lifejacket was not worn.
Drowning can happen to anyone, anywhere, and when least expected. In most cases, drowning incidents can be avoided by taking simple, quick, and effective safety measures on the water. This includes wearing a Canadian-approved lifejacket that fits well and is in good condition, staying sober in, on, and around the water, and being mindful of cold water shock.
“National Drowning Prevention Week is organized annually by the Lifesaving Society from July 17 to 23, and aims to raise awareness around drowning prevention. In May 2022, the Government of Canada announced $1.4 million in funding for recreational boating safety projects under Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program to advance knowledge of boating safety issues, practices, and behaviours.
For more guidance on safe boating and for access to the Safe Boating Guide, visit Transport Canada’s Boating Safety web page.
Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash