Putting Safety in the Spotlight


Norm WebsterSgt. Webster receiving his CASBA award from Barbara Byers, CSBCBravo Zulu to Sergeant Norm Webster, of the Vancouver Police Department's Marine Unit, for his non-stop efforts to engage the media in promoting boating safety. The Canadian Safe Boating Council believes it’s now Norm’s turn to be the focus of attention by presenting him with its Best Media Contribution Award for 2012!

Norm Webster has built much of his working life around the water. After a career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Coast Guard, he joined the Vancouver Police Department’s Marine Unit some 20 years ago, of which he is now operational Sergeant in Charge. His message to the boating community has always centered on the importance of having fun on the water safely. And what better way to get that message across to an enthusiastic boating public like that in the Vancouver area than through the media?

Each year, both in the weeks leading up to the launch of the season and throughout the summer, Norm engages local broadcast media to share the Vancouver Police Department Marine Unit’s safe boating mantra with the public.

In 2012, that included a press conference to launch the season, and press releases (the Boat Launch Blitz Boater Education and Safety Program, the Celebration of Lights Festival in English Bay, and others) all of which garnered media attention. Norm appeared on Vancouver’s Global Morning to speak about National Safe Boating Week, and pitched his usual message about the importance of wearing a lifejacket. Boating events such as Ready, Set, Inflate, and the Preventable.ca exhibit featured Norm stressing the point that fun and safety on the water can go together. Most recently, he represented the Vancouver Police Department in a TELUS TV documentary on its Marine Unit, its mandate and day-to-day operations. As always, Norm took the opportunity to share his safe boating message.

Our warmest congratulations and appreciation go to Sergeant Norm Webster for helping to keep lives safe in the Port of Vancouver area through his tireless efforts to promote safe boating. 

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 now requires that anyone driving a motorized boat must have a pleasure-craft operator card. It’s for your own safety and that of your passengers. Don’t get caught without one. Take a course and get your license!

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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.