Play it safe on the water, says boat squadron
Port Moody Power and Sail Squadron, through which hundreds of boaters have been taught the rules of the waterways, passes on the following safety information from Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons:
Recreational aquatic accidents account for more than 1,200 deaths annually in Canada — more than a number of fatalities associated with air disasters, commercial shipping tragedies and rail disasters combined.
Highest at risk are males — accounting for 85% of the total. In fact, in the 15- to 49-year-old age group, nine out of 10 drowning victims are male.
A third of drownings involve power boats, usually small craft under 18 feet in length with flat or round bottom and, tragically, more than 50% of all boating fatalities involve alcohol.
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons’ urges boaters to take a boating course and offers the following safety advice:
• Wear your lifejacket or PFD: Personal flotation devices are stylish, comfortable and practical, and are available for all ages and various aquatic activities. Remember, when boating, PFDs have to be Department of Transport-approved in orange, yellow or red.
• Think before you drink: Too much alcohol impairs your ability to think and operate your boat safely. The legal consequences are as serious for operating your boat under the influence as they are for driving your car in a drunken manner.
• Don’t overload: Do not load a boat beyond its capacity. The capacity plate is on every small boat and was put there by the manufacturer for your safety. If your boat looks overloaded, it probably is.
For more information on safety and the Port Moody Power and Sail Squadron, visit www.portmoodypss.com.