May 25, 2017

National Safe Boating Awareness Week: What is it?

safe boating_boatsmart_lifejackets

May 20th to 26th is National Safe Boating Awareness (NSBA) week, a week that aims to show you how to have the most fun on the water in the safest way possible. Boating has become an extremely popular industry, with over 87.3 million Americans and 12.4 million Canadians going boating at least once in the year. That’s a lot of people on the water! 

Why is it so popular? Boating isn’t just a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the summer sun (although that’s probably our number one reason for getting out on the water!) but we reckon it’s popularity stems from its versatility. There are so many outdoor activities that are made better with a boat! Fishing is the first activity that springs to mind, but there are also amazing campgrounds and hiking trails to be tackled (pun intended!) and getting out on a boat allows us to see the scenery from a different perspective. Ever tried wakeboarding, or got an adrenaline rush from diving into crystal clear Canadian waters? Start boating and you can…

Since 1995, The Canadian Safe Boating Council has been teaching five key messages during their Safe Boating Awareness campaign, all of which are vital to avoiding any accidents on the water. The first is to wear a PFD or lifejacket. The owner or operator of a boat has a duty of care for their passengers, and must provide a lifejacket that fits each person properly (including children.) Bonus points: our friends at Canadian Tire have a variety of styles so you can be a safe and stylish boater! Message two is don’t drink and boat; reward your captain with a beer on the pier after you’re all back on dry land instead. NSBA’s third message is take a boating course (just like BOATsmart!) to get certified. BOATsmart! is approved by Transit Canada and our course will teach you all that you need to know to get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, your driver’s licence for your boat!

Fourth: Be Prepared! Both you and your vessel need to be ready, so check your boat for all the required safety equipment and gas before going out. The last thing you want is to run out of fuel mid-trip and have to paddle home…it can get chilly out on the water. Which brings us nicely to our final point – being aware of the risks of cold-water and knowing how to react in an emergency is the smartest thing you can do. Know the risks, be prepared, and boat smart.

Boating is the best way to wake things up on weekends (or weekdays!) – and it only takes 3 short hours to get certified with BOATsmart!, letting you take the helm and steer your way to new experiences.  On your next adventure try out a new fishing spot or maybe test your abilities on a set of waterskis…or kick back and relax with a boat and a good book – the possibilities are endless!

In support of  the 2017 NSBA campaign, BOATsmart! has been posting helpful tips and tricks surrounding safe boating and our 5 Principles of Boating Safety on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow along to learn our insider tips and get a dose of s

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