The CSBC has kicked off a Lifejacket Awareness Campaign. The campaign includes a special feature on SmartBoater.ca to highlight the new ‘pull cord’ inflatable lifejackets and a SmartBoater Women section to help inform women (and everyone) about the importance of lifejackets, reasons not to drink and boat, and how preparedness will make boating safer and more enjoyable.
This new campaign was kicked off concurrent to Safe Boating Awareness Week with a goal to reduce drownings on Canadian waterways. Of particular emphasis this year is a move to strike at the troubling statistic that, while boating-related fatalities have trended downwards over the last 20 years, people not wearing their lifejackets continues to be a contributing factor in 80% of drownings. This statistic combined with findings that men are more than 4 times more likely to drown than women led the CSBC and the Lifesaving Society to take this innovative approach to undertake a comprehensive research project amongst women to determine if talking to them might effectively influence their husbands to wear their lifejackets.
The quantitative research, conducted by Gadd Research Inc. with approximately 200 women across Canada identified the high potential to reach women and ultimately their husbands and partners by linking the wearing of inflatable lifejackets as a way to save 100 lives on the water each year. A “fire alarm” poster was developed showing an emergency pull cord with the phrase “Pull in case of drowning” and a call to go to www.smartboater.ca to learn more about the various inflatable models available.
The poster was found to have strong communication ability, a strong emotional resonance, capturing and holding the attention of the study participants and revealed high potential to get women to talk to their husbands and partners about the importance of wearing a lifejacket. The poster will be present in malls in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Manitoba. Smaller posters will be available for display in marinas and community centres across Canada.
The campaign is supported by the Lifesaving Society and Pattison Outdoor Advertising. The Smartboater.ca website has also been revamped to include a section for women “Smart Boater Women” in which boating safety information for women and their families can be found.
Check it out for yourself at www.smartboater.ca