QUEBEC CITY, May 14, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Boating Council (CQN) today launched its 26th annual safe boating campaign. On this occasion, the Council wishes to stress the importance of knowing the safety rules for various boating activities to prevent accidents and, above all, save lives. The 2015 summer season has only just begun and already there have been three accidents involving watercraft. So far, two people have drowned in Quebec's lakes and rivers and one person is still missing.
"Even today, the vast majority of boating accidents results from human error and could have been prevented. Many pleasure boaters underestimate the dangers on the water, behaving recklessly or flouting crucial safety rules," said Yves Paquette, the CQN's president. "Wearing your personal flotation device at all times, knowing the rules and taking a pleasure-boating course are just some examples of things that can save lives."
To enjoy boating activities while reducing accident risks, the CQN has the following recommendations:
- Always wear your personal flotation device or life jacket
- In 2014, the PFD was missing, improperly worn or not worn at all in more than 82% of drownings.
- Don't drink alcohol
- Alcohol and drugs significantly reduce the ability to handle a boat and react to the unexpected Operating a boat while impaired also violates the law. In 2014, 45% of victims had been drinking alcohol.
- Beware of the dangers of immersion in cold water
- In 2014, 82% of deaths occurred as a result of immersion in cold water.
- Take a boating course
- It is crucial to be familiar with the rudiments of navigation specific to each type of pleasure craft, the operating techniques, as well as speed limits and other rules to be respected. This will ensure that boaters get along with each other harmoniously and safely.
- Make sure you and your boat are prepared
- Each type of pleasure craft must have specific equipment onboard to comply with Transport Canada regulations (anchor, life buoy, navigation lights, etc.). It is important to find out which equipment is mandatory before operating a boat. It is also important to be familiar with your itinerary.
Some interesting statistics from 2014
Last year, the province of Quebec recorded the lowest number of drownings during boating activities since 2005.
Of the 11 victims:
- 9 were male
- 45 % had been drinking alcohol
- 36 % were in the Laurentians region
- 9 drowned in cold water.
"We really hope last year's figures signal a changing trend, and that this year we'll see an even lower number of drowning deaths in Quebec's lakes and rivers," concluded Mr. Paquette.
About the Quebec Boating Council
Since 1989, the Quebec Boating Council (CQN) has been raising public awareness of recreational boating safety. Its members include most organizations involved in boating safety, including Sûreté du Québec (SQ), the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Quebec), Montreal's Police Department (SPVM), Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, the Lifesaving Society, the Association Maritime du Québec and CarteBateau.com.
SOURCE Quebec Boating Council