With the Canada Day weekend coming up and outdoor activity planned, boaters are being reminded to not only carry life jackets with them but to wear one whenever they are on the water.
Most boating related fatalities happen on inland waters at low speeds, often relatively close to shore. According to the Canadian Red Cross, 80 per cent of boating fatality victims in Canada were not wearing a flotation device.
"The personal flotation device is the most basic and important piece of safety equipment a boater has, but you have to wear one for it to work," says Sgt. Mark Bridges with the New Brunswick RCMP's Federal Enforcement Section. "In New Brunswick, our waters are considered cold year round so if someone is suddenly immersed, the instinct is to gasp and they inhale water. If you're not wearing a life jacket to bring you to the surface, you can drown quickly."
In 2010, four people drowned in New Brunswick in boating related fatalities. So far this year, two people have drowned and a third is suspected to have drowned in boating related mishaps. None of the three were wearing a life jacket.
For detailed information as to the equipment required by law on recreational vessels, visit the Office of Boating Safety at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
Further information about alcohol consumption is also available at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-quick-quick_visitor-1610.htm