Kids don’t float, but PFDs do, is the message ahead of Safe Boating Week from May 20 to May 26, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) stated on May 18.
Announcing a new funding cooperation with the Western Group, the partnership between the two organizations is promoting and elevating children’s safety on the water through the RCMSAR Kids Don’t Float program.
The safety program is operated by volunteers who work with community partners to provide infants, children and youth free access to nearly one thousand lifejackets or personal floatation devices (PFDs).
The floatation devices are housed at more than 100 loaner stations at marinas and dock down the coast of British Columbia. In Prince Rupert, they can be found at Rushbrook Floats where nine PFDs are located and in Cow Bay with another nine children’s sized life jackets. In Port Edward six PFDs are for loan at the public boat ramp.
“Parents and guardians who do not own lifejackets or who do not have appropriately sized PFDs for their children can simply grab one and return it to the Kids Don’t Float PFD Loaner Station at the end of the day,” Bills Riggs, CEO of RCMSAR said. “More families can enjoy a day on the water knowing their children are safe thanks to water safety partners like Western Group.”
“We are thrilled to help RCMSAR purchase new and replacement life jackets, which will be placed at a number of PFD loaner stations over the next three years,” Bill Mooney, president of Western Group said.
Western Group chose to support the search and rescue organization because safety is one of their core values, a media statement reads, with many of their employees working in port cities as RCMSAR volunteers from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island.
“We place significant importance on education, youth and the environment when choosing organizations to support,” Mooney said
Ahead of Safe Boating Week, RCMSAR is promoting safe and responsible boating practices in all communities across Canada by recommending the following practices:
1. Wear a lifejacket, always – You and your family.
2. Call for Help immediately: use channel 16 on VHF marine radio or call *16, #727 or simply dial 9-1-1 on your cell.
3. Familiarize yourself with the area you visit and note commercial traffic zones, remote areas that lack cellular service.
4. Boat sober
5. Bring Required Safety Equipment: Test prior to departure, replace expired items
6. Be aware of submerged objects: rocks, stumps, log strikes that can damage a boat’s hull or motor, which can result in injury or death
7. Leave a sail plan with loved ones and check the weather before departing
8. Take a boating course
“RCMSAR also recommends boaters consult Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide through the Office of Boating Safety, which encourages safe recreational boating practices through compliance with regulations. If you are new to boating, be sure to visit BetterBoater.ca or STARTBoating.ca to access additional information through the Canadian Safe Boating Council,” the press release reads.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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