Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating

Joe GatfieldJoe Gatfield receiving his CSBA award from Barbara Byers, CSBCJoe Gatfield has lived, played and worked around the water since he was a small boy. In fact, his family owned and operated a marina at Rondeau Bay, on Lake Erie. Joe lives and breathes boating, and loves to share his passion and concern for doing it safely. When the Canadian Safe Boating Council learned just what Joe does with his time, there was no question who would receive its 2012 award for “Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating”.

Joe joined Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) in January 1985 and has spent countless hours pursuing and teaching safe boating practices. He joined the Governing Board in 2004 as District Commander for Western Ontario; the Operating Committee as Chair, Committee of Rules, in 2005; and then became National Training Officer in 2007 for four years. In that role, he was instrumental in reinvigorating the Training Department and ensuring that all courses were either up-dated or actively being up-dated. In 2009, CPS awarded Joe a Chief Commander's Citation (the Squadrons’ highest recognition) for his distinguished and noteworthy contributions to the organization. Joe is now the CPS’ National Executive Officer.

He is also the Historian for the Windsor Squadron; Chair of the National Volunteer Awards Committee and the Organizational Effectiveness Committee. He is one of two Canadians serving on the American National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ National Education Standards Panel. This is a highly esteemed appointment and the result of his reputation in the North American recreational boating educational community.

He has also worked tirelessly on the Bridge of the Windsor Power and Sail Squadron, and once held the position of Commander, following in his father’s footsteps.

Oh yes, and if all that is not enough, Joe is a member of the Windsor Yacht Club and Sun Parlour Boat Club where he also volunteers. He is a member of United States Power Squadrons, and is involved and supports the Optimist Club and Knights of Columbus.

Thank you, Joe Gatfield, for giving the boating community so much.

5 Key Steps to Safer Boating

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Wear Your Lifejacket

Legally you must carry one on board, appropriately sized for each passenger. But don’t just carry it, WEAR IT.

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Boat Sober

Boating under the influence of alcohol, recreational drugs or prescription narcotics, is illegal, irresponsible and potentially deadly. Leave any such substances until you return to the dock.

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Take a Boating Course

The law requires that anyone operating a power-driven boat must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card OR other accredited proof of competency and it must be carried on board.

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Be Prepared - You and Your Vessel

Ensure your boat has all the required safety gear and sufficient fuel. Be sure the weather is suitable for your vessel’s capabilities.

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Be Cold Water Safe

Cold water is a significant risk. Learn how to protect yourself.