The CSBC has kicked off a Lifejacket Awareness Campaign. The campaign includes a special feature on 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 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 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

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.