200 boaters will drown this summer: make your trip a return trip

                Thursday, May 14th is National Lifejacket Day

    TORONTO, May 13 /CNW Telbec/ - While enjoying a day on the water, it's
easy to forget that emergencies can happen in a split second, and in that
moment, wearing a lifejacket could make all the difference.
    Every year, approximately 200 Canadians drown while boating. Of those who
drown, 90 per cent are not properly wearing their lifejacket. It may be on but
not secured, the wrong size or not worn at all. Shane Eickmann, summer injury
prevention coordinator for Canadian Red Cross swimming and water safety
programs, urges everyone to wear their lifejacket and plan to stay safe.
    "If you are heading out on the water this weekend, ensure you are wearing
your lifejacket and that someone on shore knows where you are going and when
you will be back," he says. "If your boat capsizes, the chances of getting
your lifejacket on after are on slim - it would be like trying to put your
seatbelt on as your car is crashing."
    On National Lifejacket Day, May 14, and throughout the season, Red Cross
is encouraging all boaters, of all skill levels, to wear their lifejackets
when in a boat, and to ensure it is properly secured. As part of this
initiative, the Red Cross would like to make it even easier for Canadians to
wear a lifejacket. Mustang Survival, manufacturers of lifejackets and a
partner in water safety with Red Cross, is offering lifejackets as prizes as
part of a summer safety contest. Visit www.redcross.ca/lifejacketday and enter
to win one of 20 family packs of lifejackets, or one of four grand prizes of
two adult inflatable lifejackets.
    Eickmann also reminds boaters that lifejackets have come a long way from
the bulky, uncomfortable models that most people recall. "Lifejackets are now
made with new technology, making them ideal for high performance sports such
as kayaking, seadooing and rowing as well as recreational and sport fishing -
activities requiring gear that allows mobility," he says. "Not wearing a
lifejacket because it interferes with your activity isn't an excuse anymore."
    For more information about Red Cross swimming and water safety programs,
visit www.redcross.ca/swim. For more information about Mustang Survival
products, visit www.mustangsurvival.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Mayville, Communications Coordinator,
Canadian Red Cross, (416) 480-0195 ext. 2253

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