Safe Boating Awareness Week May 2021

Safe Boating Awareness Week
May 22 to May 28, 2021

Boating Awareness Week promotes safe and responsible boating practices in our communities across Canada. While communities continue to be impacted by COVID-19, the pandemic is expected to keep more people close to home this summer like last year. That’s prompted many to explore boating for the first time.

Partnering with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, RCMSAR is reaching out during Safe Boating Awareness week to help make the experience safe and enjoyable especially for first time boaters by delivering the key safety messages.

Your Safety is in Your Hands!

Getting Started with Safe Boating
Learn more about safe and responsible boating practices from Transport Canada. Make sure that you know the requirements and understand the regulations that apply to boating in Canada.

Using a Trip Plan
A trip plan (also known as a float plan or sail plan) is a document that outlines your expected travel itinerary while on the water. The document should be given to a responsible person on shore. In the event that you do not return from your trip on time, a trip plan can be used by search and rescue organizations to help pinpoint your whereabouts. Click below to access a great one from BoatSmartExam.com

Pre-Departure Checklist
Take a few minutes to walk around your boat and carry out a visual inspection. Here is a list to get you started from SmartBoater.ca

Safe Boating Awareness Week Information
Safe Boating Awareness Week 2021 – Coast to Coast gives you the opportunity to access safe boating messages from people and agencies with a vested interest in boating safety from one end of the country to the other.


The Safe Boating Awareness Week campaign is managed by the CSBC (Canadian Safe Boating Council) and its boat and water safety partners including marine emergency responders like the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR).

Boat and water safety partners include: the Lifesaving Society B.C. & Yukon Branch, Boating BC, Transport Canada and the RCMP.

Boating Awareness Week promotes safe and responsible boating practices in our communities across Canada. While communities continue to be impacted by COVID-19, the pandemic is expected to keep more people close to home this summer like last year. That’s prompted many to explore boating for the first time.

Partnering with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, RCMSAR is reaching out during Safe Boating Awareness week to help make the experience safe and enjoyable especially for first time boaters by delivering the key safety messages.

In the video below, watch RCMSAR’s Marine Safety Specialist Volunteer, and RCMSAR Station 10-Richmond Station Leader, Aaron Harnden’s talk about on how you can stay safe on the water.

You can watch some more videos here from provincial representatives by CLICKING HERE. You may reach out to these representatives at the contact information given, for more on safe boating information in that region.

In Canada, 16 million people enjoy recreational boating. That number continues to climb driven largely by COVID-19 travel restrictions as more people in our communities venture out on the water keeping closer to home. Marine dealers across North America have reported empty shelves of boating safety gear and exhausted inventories of new and used boats as many people new to boating are taking to the water for the first time.

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“Canada’s Pacific Coast is vast and can be remote. Whether you’re tuna fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island, cruising the north coast, or trying your luck to catch a salmon on the south coast, it’s important to keep these messages in mind,” says Aaron Harnden, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue’s Marine Safety Specialist.

However not all people are prepared to participate in outdoor activities as search and rescue organizations across the province are reporting one of their busiest years on record responding to calls for help as more British Columbians spend time in nature during the pandemic. Last summer many of RCMSAR’s marine search and rescue stations experienced an increase in call-outs; that number is expected to grow.

In addition to these boating safety messages, RCMSAR also recommends that boaters leave a Sail Plan with loved ones prior to going out on the water. Boaters should also familiarize themselves with the area they are visiting including commercial traffic zones. Always have a means of communicating in the event of an emergency and remember that remote areas can lack reliable cellular coverage. “Above all, when you are faced with an emergency on the water, don’t hesitate to call for help by calling 1-800-567-5111 or #727 on your cell phone or on channel 16 via a marine VHF radio,” shares Harnden.

To help deliver these boating messages in British Columbia, the CSBC is also working with the Lifesaving Society B.C. & Yukon Branch, Transport Canada and the RCMP.

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Go to www.sbaw.ca to access videos from CSBC partners that can be downloaded by media or shared on social media.

For additional information on boating safety, visit BetterBoater.ca or STARTBoating.ca.

About Safe Boating Awareness Week
Safe Boating Awareness Week is promoted by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), a registered charity, with support from its members, partners, and Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety. Since 1995, Safe Boating Awareness Week has been the mainstay of boating safety communication among millions of Canadian Boaters.

About Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue
The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia and in-land waters. With over 900 volunteers, emergency response crews are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to respond to marine emergencies. RCMSAR volunteers also prevent emergencies by providing the public boating safety information, conduct pleasure craft safety checks and provide free access to children’s lifejackets at PFD loaner stations located at many docks and marinas in the communities that they serve through the Kids Don’t Float program. RCMSAR’s mission is “Saving lives on the water”.

Established in 1978 originally under the name the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pacific, RCMSAR is called on to respond to marine emergencies by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in British Columbia through an agreement with the Canadian Coast Guard.

Funding

  • While RCMSAR receives funding from federal and provincial governments and agencies to conduct missions, annual funding is not guaranteed, nor does it meet the operational needs of our 31 local stations.
  • As a charity, we depend on the support of our donors and local communities to help us meet the cost of saving lives on the water.
  • Our volunteers give their time in communities across B.C. for free, but they need training, well-maintained equipment, rescue boats and onshore facilities to save lives and stay safe while doing it.
  • The economic climate has impacted our ability to raise funds as most fundraising dollars are raised in our local communities each year through events. While many of our stations have embraced online fundraising, it is not enough to cover operational nor existing and future capital expenses.

We hope everyone has fun while
staying safe on the water this summer!