August 2019
CSBC Newsletter - August 2019
  • Message from the Chair
  • Jet Boat Safety Bulletin from New Zealand
  • Groundbreaking Court Decision re Impaired Boating
  • CSBC Symposium, Port Credit
  • Cold Water Workshop, Port Credit
  • Operation Life Preserver
  • CPS-ECP Launches Operation Lifejacket
  • Northern Youth Ambassadors
  • Stearns and the CSBC Support Christie Lake Kids Camp
  • In brief 
Message from the Chair
I would like to start by thanking you for the honour of serving as Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. I have followed the work of CSBC for many years and enjoyed interacting especially in the many educational programs offered that benefit so many….from down here in Southwestern Ontario to the far north, east and west. As I grow more deeply involved, I realize the quality of the men and women who volunteer to ensure the Mission of the CSBC is achieved along with the many supporting organizations, Partners and Sponsors. I take on this position following many who have given so much of their time and energy and are still active today….thank you for your commitment and leadership and bringing the Council to where it is today. I especially want to offer my sincere thanks to my immediate predecessor, John Gullick, for his ongoing commitment to the CSBC and his guidance and counsel. John, greatly appreciated.
As many of you know, I have been involved with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons’ vessel courtesy check program for many years, and have seen first-hand how meeting and talking to boaters can really make a difference. In the past three months I have spent a lot of time participating in this program. Sometimes I get challenged by friends and colleagues as to the amount of weekend time spent, but really, if you think about it, I am near the water, on boats, with boaters and yet delivering the message(s) I believe in. The result of a vessel check is always significant to me and to those I interact with on the docks.
What is the significance, you might ask? Well:

  • I have reviewed all of the safety equipment that is mandated by Transport Canada as per the Safe Boating Guide and the Small Vessel Regulations

  • I have had a discussion and passed on personal experience to boaters who likely have stated ‘I didn’t know that’, or ‘I didn’t realize that’

  • I have been able to help ensure that another boater may go out and come back safely….thus having a fun day on the water

  • I have had an impact on their surroundings and on the boaters near them - the information will likely be passed on in conversation

  • I have been able to review best practices….do they know how to use the equipment…the care of the equipment…the readiness of it.
You see, what I am able to do in a 30 to sometimes 50 minute visit is have an impact on the boater in the context of today’s reality of boating…the dangers yet all of the good fun aspects expected once you leave the dock. I use ‘safety equipment’ as a vehicle to have conversations with people about boating and boating safety and their safety, and in the process it makes them reveal themselves – their perspective on boating, their habits and what they have learned through this conversation.
In this time period, the five CSBC core messages are delivered to the boater even though it may be through various discussions, examples, or stories….they learn about the features, advantages and benefits of:
-        Wearing their lifejacket (and storage and care)
-        Boating sober (including all drugs and the consequences)
-        Taking a boating course or upgrading their skills (or realizing they are not compliant in some ways)
-        Being prepared both personally and their vessel (do you know how and what to do)
-        And being aware that the water is cold….almost all summer (even in supposedly shallow areas).
My message to you, if you are reading this, is that you too can have that impact. In your own way you can be that vessel examiner watching out for your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. It does not take much….if you have an observation please say something.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council, and many other organizations, wants everyone to come home safely and we all share in that responsibility….from Stand Up Paddleboards to the large recreational Sail and Power Boats.
The basic Safe Boating Equipment Requirements can be found at

As this is my first message to you as Chair, I would be remiss if I did not pass on some specific ‘CSBC’ messages.
  • THANK YOU to those who have joined or renewed their commitment on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee
  • THANK YOU to our Members, Partners and Sponsors….you are helping to ensure we meet our Mission and we cannot do this without you
  • The CSBC continues with the many programs that we have been proud to develop and deliver to every Canadian in ALL parts of our country. Some are highlighted in this newsletter but many are ongoing…. long past the original expected tenure of the program. Please take a look at insert link and you will see just what we are up to. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Ongoing Safe Boating Campaign
  • Safety First Marine
  • Operation Life Preserver
  • Northern Youth Ambassadors
  • Hooked on Lifejackets
  • Operation Dry Water
  • Cold Water Awareness Workshops

  • CSBC is recognized internationally and you will see yet another example in this newsletter
  • Our volunteers take on many tasks and two in particular are for you, the Members, our Partners and the Public…the Annual Symposium and the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA’s)
  • The Symposium is mentioned following but I encourage you to participate…the information is invaluable and the networking is always beneficial and interesting
  • The CASBAs are highlighted in this issue also…come out and join us in our new venue at the National Yacht Club in Toronto on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Also, don’t forget to put forward your nomination(s)
  • And finally before I sign off….if you are not a Member, please consider joining us…contact anyone listed on the Board found on the CSBC Website and we would be glad to ‘chat’.
In closing, I would like to thank you for taking the time to be our partner….whether you are a Member, Director, Sponsor, Partner or just a friend. Your support is appreciated.

May you have fair winds, calm seas and enjoy the balance of your summer.



Joe Gatfield, Chair, CSBC
Jet Boat Safety Bulletin from New Zealand
Maritime New Zealand has issued a new and important safety message to recreational, commercial and racing jet boat owners and operators. The bulletin is the result of an investigation New Zealand experts undertook following a recent fatal high-speed jet boat accident. The cause of the accident was identified as steering failure caused by a D-shackle pin working loose after the wire locking in the pin became fatigued and broke. (click image to read the full bulletin)
Maritime NZ is asking all owners of jet boats to ensure their boats are safe. If they are using D-shackles and locking wire they should check that the shackles are individually wire locked. Check the condition of the shackles. If there are nicks or tooling damage, consider replacing them. Maritime NZ is recommending that people talk to their supplier or jet boat manufacturer if they are unsure. Jet boats are boats are manufactured by many companies and this potential issue affects all jet boats that use D-shackles as part of their steering set up.

Would you like to know more about boating safety in New Zealand?
Come to the CSBC Symposium in Port Credit from September 18 – 20 and meet Baz Kirk, Manager, Sector Engagement and Collaboration, Maritime New Zealand. Baz will talk about the challenges New Zealand faces in recreational boating and the diverse ways in which regulators and non-governmental organizations collaborate to deliver education and enforcement in high risk events.
Groundbreaking Court Decision re Impaired Boating
With extracts from National Post news reports
A recent Court decision in Ontario will make it easier for police forces to pursue enforcement of the Criminal Code and secure a conviction for those who operate a canoe or kayak when impaired by alcohol or drugs. The decision has been welcomed by boating safety advocates, including Sgt. Dave Moffatt of the Ontario Provincial Police, who said: “In a canoe, in a vessel propelled by muscular power, you go into the water while you’re impaired, that can take your life away in minutes”, and that he believes the ruling means it is more likely that police will now lay charges of impaired paddling.

On June 27 David Sillars became the first Canadian ever to be convicted of impaired driving charges for the act of paddling a canoe. On the afternoon of April 2017, after consuming alcohol and cannabis earlier in the day, he made a bad decision to go canoeing on the Muskoka River, despite the strong current. He took his girlfriend’s 8 year old son with him. The canoe tipped and in the strong current, the boy was swept over the 50 feet High Falls. Mr. Sillars was able to struggle out of the water and go for help but the boy was found dead at the bottom of the falls.

While impaired operation of a vessel has long been an offence under the Criminal Code, the uncertainty surrounding the definition of a vessel has been confusing for the public and resulted in some enforcement authorities being reluctant to lay charges. While the June 27 decision is only applicable in Ontario, it has now created a precedent for cases in other jurisdictions.

Avid readers of the CSBC Newsletter will recall that in September 2017, when the federal government proposed amendments to the Criminal Code impairment provisions to include cannabis and other drugs among the bases of impairment, it also proposed a definition of vessel that would excluded human-powered vessels. In its testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the CSBC pointed out that a significant portion of the impaired boating deaths a year involve human-powered vessels, and that excluding them would increase risk. The Committee subsequently recommended this definition be removed and that it be left to the courts to determine. This case in Ontario is the first important building block in providing clarity that impaired operation of any type of vessel is an offence.

For more information on the impairment issue, click here  to learn more about the Operation Dry Water campaign by the CSBC and its partners, as well as the CSBC’s collaboration with Muskoka Grown, an Ontario licensed cannabis producer, to make boaters aware of the risks of cannabis consumption and boating. 
CSBC Symposium in Port Credit/Toronto
Don’t delay, book today! The CSBC reserved hotel room block at the Waterside Inn, Port Credit expires on August 15, and after that room reservations will be on a first come, first served basis.

We have a great lineup of confirmed Canadian and international speakers, and an interesting agenda that will engage you. A Symposium first, one day will be devoted to the hot topic of shared use of our increasingly busy waterways. So book your hotel room today, register for the Symposium and plan to join us for great learning, great networking and a great time! Psst – there are rumours of a craft beer fact-finding mission.........

Cold Water Immersion Workshop
Register now for the next CSBC Cold Water Immersion Workshop, to be held at the Port Credit Yacht Club on September 16 and 17!
Operation Life Preserver
By Project Manager Ted Rankine, Playsafe Productions
Operation Life Preserver is in its third and final year. With contribution funding from Public Safety Canada through their SAR New Initiatives Fund, Operation Life Preserver has been able to reach out to remote northern communities across Canada. 

Most recently, in partnership with the RCMP, a number of communities in Northern Manitoba received the education program and lifejackets. Communities included Poplar River, Island Lakes Region (four communities), and God’s Lake. As part of the program, Stephanie Rankine, representing the CSBC, also taught future trainers, RCMP members stationed with local detachments to carry on the program in future years. 

Moving into the Northwest Territories, three communities, Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok and Hay River also received the education program and lifejackets. As with Northern Manitoba, a train the trainers program was presented, this time with members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA). Training and more than 200 lifejackets were distributed during the sessions and an additional 200 lifejackets have been made available to accompany ongoing training in NWT communities by the CCGA.  It is interesting to note that there were virtually no lifejackets available for purchase in these communities and it is through the efforts of the CSBC and our local partnerships, that many young people now have the life-saving benefits of both knowledge and lifejackets.  

Another target audience in these communities continues to be adult men, and through ongoing discussions with elders and other influential members of the communities, meetings were held and ideas discussed on what could work to help educate middle-aged men, who the statistics show are drowning the most. 

Lawrence Jacobs, a CSBC Director, also teamed up with the RCMP on the west coast and visited 8 communities including Bella Bella, Bella Coola and Kitkatla. Lawrence provided training in the communities and conducted ‘train the trainer’ sessions for RCMP members who police the communities, to ensure ongoing capacity for future education. Over 700 lifejackets were delivered to the youth in these communities as part of the expanded Lifejacket Owner’s program.

It is important to note that this Canada-wide program is made possible with the involvement of many partners, who include the Canadian Rangers, the RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, local outdoor clubs and almost every regional air carrier in the North, who are delivering the lifejackets into communities at little or no charge.

Operation Life Preserver has been positively received in communities and with the involvement of partners and locally-based trainers is expected to continue far into the future.
CPS-ECP Launches Operation Life Jacket
By Joe Gatfield, CSBC Chair
In October 2016, when the CSBC applied for funding from the SAR New Initiatives Fund to support Operation Life Preserver, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) sent a letter of support. CPS-ECP has now taken their written support a step further. After a presentation to CPS-ECP’s annual meeting in October 2018 by one of the Canadian Rangers, CPS-ECP decided to get on board and offer a different type of support: providing lifejackets through a program they have labelled ‘Operation Life Jacket’.
CPS-ECP is already on the docks and interacting with boaters with their Recreational Vessel Courtesy Check Program. The added component is to just simply make the ask….does the boater have any lifejackets that they no longer need that they would like to donate in order to bring greater boating safety to our Northern Canadian communities? This is happening in all 16 CPS-ECP Districts across Canada, with collection points in each area, from which lifejackets are eventually filtered through to the Canadian Ranger volunteers for delivery through Operation Life Preserver. Lifejackets are inspected for serviceability prior to being forwarded for use in the Northern communities. Also, Squadrons in various communities are able to donate to the CSBC funds specifically designated to Operation Life Jacket, which allows greater block purchasing power.
This is truly a win-win effort….there is feel good by the volunteer on the docks as well as the boater, the CSBC has more resources, and it demonstrates how a CSBC partner organization can contribute in a unique manner. The ultimate win is in Northern communities, where boating is a part of daily living, and residents can now be safer on the water.
Our thanks to CPS-ECP and their volunteers, to the Canadian Rangers and to the dedicated volunteers and partners supporting the CSBC Operation Life Preserver program.
Northern Youth Ambassadors
By Project Manager Ted Rankine, Playsafe Productions
Northern Youth Ambassadors (NYA) is in its second and final year. Similar to Operation Life Preserver, NYA receives contribution funding from Public Safety Canada through their SAR New Initiatives Fund. The purpose of this two-part project is to increase SAR awareness levels and sustainable lifejacket wear by First Nations in Northern communities. One part of NYA is to educate Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) about SAR awareness and equip them with lifejackets at their annual Basic and Advanced Enhanced Training Session (ETS) Camps. The JCRs attending the camps are also supplied with an additional lifejacket to take back to a family member, and are empowered to act as leaders and teachers to their families and communities about lifejackets and SAR awareness.

Stephanie Rankine and Dawn Callan, representing the CSBC, visited Camp Loon, 3 rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group’s JCR ETS Camp, this summer to train the JCR Staff in the SAR awareness education program. Once trained, these JCR Staff then spent the rest of the two weeks at camp delivering this presentation to their Basic ETS groups. Upon completion, each JCR was fitted out with a lifejacket that they then could bring home with them. This year at Camp Loon, there were over 300 Basic ETS in attendance. Other participating Ranger ETS camps included Ranger Patrol groups in British Columbia, the North West Territories, the northern Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador. 
Stearns and the CSBC Support Christie Lake Kids Camp
By CSBC Director Jay Morrison
On June 1 the CSBC was on hand at the Christie Lake Kids canoe race fundraising event at Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa to donate 25 lifejackets to the Christie Lake Kids (CLK) Camp on behalf of Stearns Canada. Over three quarters of the almost 1000 children who participate in CLK programs every year come from low income families, many of whom have other serious challenges and who otherwise would not likely ever have the opportunity to develop physical and social skills, paddle a canoe and connect with nature. A look at the CLK website at and its latest annual report clearly shows why Stearns and the CSBC are proud to join in the incredible community support for these children.

After a few words on boating safety our CSBC rep also handed out safety whistles from Paddle Canada to the kids (and to the Mayor of Ottawa among the VIPs), with the proviso that they were not to be used to annoy their parents - unless the parents were not wearing their lifejackets! 
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
Now is the perfect time to think about recognizing the efforts of those who do so much to make our favourite on-water activities both safer and environmentally sustainable...and it’s through the Canadian Safe Boating Awards that you can do just that.

In no more than 15 minutes you can nominate that special person, group or organization whose efforts in the field of boating safety or environmental stewardship deserve national recognition. Perhaps they are volunteers or professionals whose efforts have contributed greatly to the safety of those on the water. Then again, maybe it’s someone who, hearing that another was in trouble on the water, summoned the courage to mount a rescue. These are the people we want you to nominate to receive a Canadian Safe Boating (CASBA) Award. You can even nominate yourself or your group or organization.

The Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) are like the People’s Choice Awards of Safe Boating. They are an annual awards ceremony and dinner which takes place every January to recognize the efforts of the general public, volunteers, professionals, agencies and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safety and environmental stewardship.  

What makes the CASBAs so very special is that nominations come from people like YOU! No matter where you live from Victoria to St. John’s, please keep your eyes and ears open.  Without your nomination, the great works of those who contribute so much to our safety and enjoyment of recreational boating may go unrecognized. Now is your time to act! Help the Canadian Safe Boating Council say thank you to deserving Canadians for their stellar efforts and let them know that their work is greatly appreciated. Nominations close Oct 10, 2019.

We will be celebrating our 22 nd Gala on January 19, 2020 at an exciting new venue – the National Yacht Club at 1 Stadium Road, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3H4. Plan to join us!
For more information, click here
In brief
The Navigation Safety Regulations, 2019 have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part I
The 90-day comment period commences on June 15.

The next International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel, Arizona from April 5 – 8, 2020. For more information, click here: