Given the statistics and the known reasons why there are so many boating incidents, some fatal, Boating safety awareness is something many governments are keen to promote. The Government of Canada has launched this week's North American Safe Boating Awareness Week with new funding for boating safety projects.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced $667,000 in funding for eleven boating safety awareness projects under Transport Canada's Boating Safety Contribution Program (BSCP) over the next three years. This funding is additional to the $1.8 million announced under the BSCP in 2013 for projects that began in the 2013 boating season.
The BSCP aims to increase the number of pleasure craft operators who follow safe boating practices, improve the availability of national boating incident data to enhance awareness and education initiatives, and reduce loss of life, injuries and property damage due to boating accidents. It provides funding of up to 75 per cent of the total eligible cost of a project.
In addition, the Minister announced a call for application under the BSCP for additional education and awareness projects that promote safe boating practices which would start in the 2015 boating season. Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2014.
North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2014, which is taking place from May 17 to 23, promotes a wide range of safe boating practices to the estimated 10 million recreational boaters in Canada.
On average, 100 boating fatalities happen annually on Canadian waters. About 90 per cent of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD). If you remember only one thing about boating safety, it should be to always wear your lifejacket or PFD when on or near the water. It could save your life!
In Canada, all recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must have a pleasure craft licence. It is the law.
If you're operating a motorized boat in Canada, you need to carry a proof of competency and a piece of personal identification.
Don't cruise with booze! Impaired driving, whether on land or water, is illegal and punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.