Column: No reason to not have life-jackets on board

The bottom line when it comes to life-jackets or PFDs is that they save lives

Every year in this province far too many people drown while taking part in activities on the water.

None of them intended to drown. Most were simply out on the water enjoying a pleasant day – until something went wrong, desperately wrong.

The worst part is that most of the people who drown, more than 87 per cent of them, either were not wearing a life-jacket or PFD, or did not have one on board. With an ever increasing number of people taking part in activities on and around the water, there is an increased need for safety and regulation.

READ MORE: Bystanders recount giving CPR to woman who drowned in Matheson Lake

READ MORE: B.C. paramedics urge caution as summer drowning incidents on the rise in 2020

Under the federal government’s regulations, a person operating a boat or pleasure craft is responsible for equipping the boat with the proper mandatory safety equipment to ensure the safety of those on board. Operators and/or owners of boats and pleasure craft that do not comply with these regulations can be subject to penalties and fines of up to $200 for each person not wearing an approved life-jacket.

The bottom line when it comes to life-jackets or PFDs is that they save lives.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a flotation device. First, consider the type of water activities t you enjoy.

Today there are life-jackets and PFDs specially designed for virtually every water activity including pleasure boating, fishing, water skiing, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and rafting.

Today’s life-jackets and PFDs are available in a variety of bright colours.

When determining what size of life-jacket or PFD to wear, remember that sizing is based on chest measurements for adults and weight for children. Read the label for details. And, most important, try the life-jacket or PFD on before buying. It should fit snugly, with all the buckles, zippers and snaps done up, but still allow room to breathe and move around freely.

Whether boating, kayaking, angling or floating down river on a float tube, it is important to remember that different people have differing levels of skill and physical strength, not to mention swimming ability.

Wearing a life-jacket or PFD can make all the difference in a life-threatening situation. Stay safe.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Outdoors

Just Posted

Storm watchers urged to be careful after two rescued from Ucluelet shoreline

“People need to take responsibility of their own actions, the district can only do so much.”

Fire crews put out blaze in Cowichan Secondary outbuilding

Three halls respond to fire in storage structure

Overnight shutdown of Highway 1 at McKenzie interchange for sign installation

Traffic will be impacted in both directions, detour available

Furstenau accuses Horgan of politicizing new Cowichan hospital as premier makes Valley campaign stop

Premier suggests that new facility hinges on re-election of NDP government

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

Photographer Eiko Jones delivered the 11th Annual Haig Brown lecture at Tidemark Theatre

Jones also screened his newly completed movie Heartbeat of the River at the event

RCMP hope public can help locate missing Nanaimo man

Gary Alexander Davidson, 54, has not been seen or heard from since Sept. 20

Green Party pins Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding hopes on Istace

Leader Sonia Furstenau was in Chemainus for Sunday’s candidate announcement

Nanaimo’s Jones will draw on her experiences in first political campaign

Retired social worker representing B.C. Liberals in Nanaimo riding in provincial election

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read