Water Smart Advice - It won't work if you don't wear it!

By Jamie Nelder

Print this page

Drowning is a big problem – almost 500 people drown in Canada each year. Boating-related deaths represent one-third of these fatalities.

It won’t work if you don’t wear it.

Most drowning victims never intend to be in the water. In fact, 90% of victims in boating fatalities are not wearing Personal Flotation Devices or lifejackets. PFDs are not even in the boat 30% of the time!

The law requires you to carry Canadian approved PFDs or lifejackets for each person in a boat. And they have to fit.  If you’re not wearing your lifejacket or PFD, you’re going to have trouble putting it on in the water ... assuming you can find one your size, and assuming you don’t have a mouthful of water and are not panicking!
Most parents make their children wear a lifejacket or PFD, but they themselves don’t. In fact, most boating fatalities involve men between 25 and 49 years of age.  

Trying to put a PFD on just before you capsize is like trying to buckle a seat belt just before you have a car crash.


Water Smart® Advice for Parents © Copyright 2004,The Royal Life Saving Society Canada for the exclusive use of Lifesaving Society Swim Program licensees.Water Smart® is a registered trademark of the Society.