Be a better boater this summer

The Canadian Red Cross urges Canadians to practice water safety

TORONTO, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Every year hundreds of Canadians die tragically in boating incidents - the overwhelming majority of those who drowned were not wearing a lifejacket.   As we head into the summer months, many Canadians will be heading out on to the water to enjoy some of our most beautiful lakes.  The Canadian Red Cross believes all boaters regardless of swimming ability need to wear a properly fitting lifejacket, appropriate to the activity in which they are participating. 


Every year hundreds of Canadians drown in boating accidents.

  • According to the most recent 5-year statistics (2009-2014) an average of 125 Canadians die in boating-related incidents each year. Many of these tragedies are preventable.
  • Men aged 45-54 represent the largest age group for fatalities, however males of all ages are at greatest risk.
  • 87% of unintentional boating-related deaths were not wearing or improperly wearing a lifejacket.
  • Alcohol was present at the scene or in toxicology reports in almost half of fatalities.

Red Cross wants to remind Canadians about safe boating practises:

  1. Avoid alcohol while boating. Consuming alcohol while boating can significantly decrease your chance of safely making it back to shore.
  2. Wear your lifejacket. Boaters and those who are aboard the craft should put their lifejacket on before heading out.
  3. Make sure your lifejacket fits properly. Having a lifejacket with an improper fit or having one in the boat but not wearing it puts the boater at greater risk for death by drowning.  Lifejackets keep you at the surface of the water during unexpected or unintentional falls into water and enable you to remain at the surface while you regain breath control during the initial impact of cold water shock.


"Research shows that lifejackets save lives.  One preventable death is too many – we encourage all Canadians to properly wear lifejackets while boating this summer. It could mean the difference between life and death."
-  Shelley Dalke, Director, Swimming & Water Safety Programs, The Canadian Red Cross



About the Canadian Red Cross

As the leading provider of prevention and safety training in the country, the Canadian Red Cross trains 2.4 million Canadians annually in emergency preparedness, first aid, swimming and violence and abuse prevention. Visit for research and tips, and to learn more about CPR, first aid and violence prevention training, and swimming and water safety courses.

SOURCE Canadian Red Cross

For further information: English Media Line: 1-877-599-9602; French Media Line: 1-888-418-9111


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