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

Oak Bay approves subdivision for lot that houses Maclure-designed heritage home

Mansion-style Blair Gowie house famous for its design and historical connection with Butchart family

MLA Andrew Weaver thins workload after illness, full recovery expected

BC Green Party leader felt symptoms at a public event in Langley, and was taken to hospital

Golfer aims for hole-in-one to raise cash for Victoria Hospice

Fundraiser event hits Highland Pacific Golf Course Sept. 17

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

Malahat truck crash cleared but over 200 still without power

Hydro poles taken out in Monday afternoon crash

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read