Water safety always in season

Surrounded by the Salish Sea on three sides, Oak Bay has boaters aplenty. With the first long weekend of the summer upon us, even the fair-weather boaters tend to set sail.

Naturally, boat and water safety comes to mind. A gentle reminder of the dangers of the open water can only do good.

According to the BC Coroners Service , boating incidents are the number-one cause of drowning deaths in the province – 22.5 per cent between the years 2008-2015; it increases to a full 25 per cent when rafting and tubing are added to the mix – two more popular Vancouver Island pastimes.

Island-wide we have our share drowning tragedies each year, some of which could have been prevented with adherence to the golden rule of the water: always wear a life-jacket or personal flotation device.

Yes, there is a difference. Life-jackets offer a higher level of protection. PFDs are designed to keep a person afloat but not to turn an unconscious person face up in the water. Make sure to choose one that suits the type of boating activities you’re planning.

(For more information on lifejackets/PFDs, go visit the Canadian Red Cross website.)

And if life-jackets/PFDs are the golden rule, leaving alcohol and drugs out of the equation comes a close second.

More than 40 per cent of all drowning deaths in BC between 2008-2015 involved alcohol or drugs.

This isn’t altogether surprising and again, it must be said.

It’s not acceptable – socially, or legally – to consume alcohol while driving down the highway; why, then, do so many think it’s acceptable behaviour to have a beer in one hand while steering a boat with the other?

Statistically speaking, it’s inevitable that there will a tragedy on the water at some time this year.

Please, pay heed to these words. If they save one life, they were worth writing.

Just Posted

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

French Open at Bear Mountain serves a winner

The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

Saanich jam stand at the centre of controversy prepares to close

Staff review of roadside stand legislation too late for Little

Pipeline protestors plan march as Trudeau gives Trans Mountain the go-ahead,

20 kilometre march to protest the pipeline starts in Victoria, ends on Saanich Peninsula

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read