August 2021
CSBC Newsletter - August 2021
In This Issue

  • Message from the Chair
  • Board Update
  • Virtual Symposium
  • Virtual Cold Water Workshops
  • Northern Youth SuperSAR Project
  • Boating Safety Speaks
  • Canadian Safe Boating Awards
  • Boating Safety in the United States
  • Obituary: Cathy Sandiford
  • In Brief 
Message from the Chair
Since this is my first official message to you since our Annual Meeting in May, I want to thank you for the honour of serving as Chair of the CSBC for another year. We took a different approach to the Annual Meeting this year, including more reports on our programs in order to give the Membership an overview of our activities and actions over the past year and moving forward. The comments have been very positive. More attended this year as it was virtual and I thank all of you for your support. A great way to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!

With the many programs the CSBC has currently on the go, we were fortunate to be approved the day following the AGM with a SAR New Initiatives Fund (NIF) project - Northern Youth SuperSAR. You will find this highlighted further in the Newsletter, together with an update on our innovative Boating Safety Speaks project.

The COVID Pandemic has continued to provide challenges to all of us and the CSBC has adapted accordingly. I am proud of the way we have adapted and the continued presence we have had as result. With the technology available our messages continue to get out and social media has ensured that the five key messages of the CSBC are still front and centre. As we are all now aware, boating continues to be one of the few activities that really ensures safe ‘social distancing’.

I know there was a summary in the June News Splash, but at the AGM we had three Directors retire and I personally want to thank Daniel Breton, Clara Reinhardt and Alain Roy for their service to the CSBC and to safe boating in Canada. My thanks to the returning Directors and Executive Committee for continuing to serve and I look forward to the year ahead and the challenges we will face and overcome.

In this Newsletter, you will read about our virtual Symposium being held on October 1st. Lawrence Jacobs and his team have worked hard again this year to prepare this alternative to our usual face to face event and if you have the time, it’s free, you can join us from your home or office and the program is excellent. Registration is open ….register today!

Brenda Reeve is looking for nominations for the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs). There is an update in this Newsletter. We are considering nominations from last year and this year, because we were not able to hold the CASBAs last year. It will be exciting to have this event happen once again, and we’re currently working on plans for the way ahead.

The innovative way that the Cold Water Workshops are being presented has been very popular, and these virtual workshops sell out quickly. Ian Gilson and his team are working hard to keep up with the demand. See further information in this Newsletter.

You will find further in this Newsletter an obituary for Cathy Sandiford. It relates a great tribute to Cathy but it also tells a story of someone dedicated to Boating Safety and all that matters when it came to safety, boating, colleagues and general passion for what she loved. Cathy was someone who garnered true respect. Our condolences to Cathy’s family.
This spring and summer, I seem to be exposed personally to more incidents on the water locally than I have in the past. Unfortunately this includes one drowning and several water-related incidents involving near drownings, hypothermia etc. I have written articles in local newsletters relating these incidents so that those reading are either getting the message regarding safe and responsible boating or are able to pass the message along and also be a watchdog on the waters at all times. It takes all of us to deliver the safe and responsible boating message….not just social media, the policing authorities or those offering courses….safe and responsible boating belongs to each and every one of us. Thank you for being one of those who thinks, acts and practices sage and responsible boating….our waters are safer as a result.

To our Sponsors and Partners, THANK YOU. We are not able to deliver our key messages without your support. A special shout-out to our Presenting Sponsor Stearns/Coleman.
In closing, I would like to thank you for taking the time for being 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.
Keep well and be safe.


Joe Gatfield
Board Update
In the June News Splash we incorrectly reported that Ted Fortuna would continue as CSBC Vice Chair. In fact, Lawrence Jacobs was elected Vice Chair at the May 2021 AGM. Our apologies to Lawrence, who has served on the CSBC Board and Executive for several years and contributed in many different areas, including as Chair of the Symposium Committee, member of the Ways and Means and Membership Committees and CSBC representative on Transport Canada’s Recreational Boating Advisory Committee (RBAC) Pacific, as well as being an active supporter of CSBC initiatives to collect lifejackets for Northern communities and Safe Boating Awareness Week. Thank you for agreeing to step up to the Vice Chair position, Lawrence.

Ted Fortuna resigned from the Board and the Executive in June. Ted has made very significant contributions to the CSBC Board over many years, and we are glad that he has agreed to serve as a Director Emeritus, with responsibilities for sponsor relations.

Mal Blann, a longstanding CSBC Director and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, has been appointed to the Executive Committee.

Since 1991 the CSBC has been built and is sustained by the knowledge, hard work and commitment of the volunteers who serve as Board and Committee members and support our various projects and activities. A big thank you to all our volunteers, as we move forward together.
Virtual Symposium October 1, 2021
Plan to join us for our second FREE Virtual Symposium, to be held this year from 12.30 – 3.45 EDT on October 1. With the theme Welcome to new boaters: how can we help? explore with us some of the boating safety issues that arise as we welcome new boaters to our community – and favourite activity.

One key part of the program will be an industry panel featuring:
  • Sylvain Deschenes, General Manager, Nautisme Quebec
  • Bruce Haynes, Executive Director, Boating B.C. and
  • Rick Layzell, CEO, Boating Ontario.

Hear from these key experts about the work the recreational boating industry is doing to welcome and support new boaters.
Have You Downloaded the CSBC's FREE Weather to Boat App Yet?
Virtual Cold Water Workshops
Northern Youth SuperSAR Project
Public Safety Canada has approved funding from the Search and Rescue New SAR Initiatives Fund (NIF) for a new three year outreach/educational initiative, the Northern Youth (NY) SuperSAR Project. The CSBC has been working with Northern communities to improve boating safety knowledge and practices for a number of years, and this new project builds on those activities and relationships. Youth are an important audience for CSBC’s safety and SAR incident prevention outreach, and the NY SuperSAR Project is designed to empower youth by enhancing their land, ice and water safety knowledge and to provide a mechanism for them to share this with their communities.

The boating/water safety program developed by the CSBC under Operation Life Preserver (OLP), another NIF-supported initiative, will be the catalyst for the new program. It will be enhanced by a new winter ground / ice-based SAR incident prevention, education, and techniques program. As with OLP, the NY SuperSAR Program will be delivered in the school system with the support of partners, and will provide the education and knowledge for youth in the North to actively work to prevent SAR incidents.

To share their knowledge, students will be encouraged to put into pictures what they have learned. Their creations will be submitted to a panel who will select images to be featured in SAR Incident Prevention Calendars published and distributed in 2023 and 2024. The SAR principles depicted in the chosen art will be aligned with the seasons on the calendar to provide constant visible reminders about seasonally relevant SAR incident prevention strategies. It is expected that a number of different calendars will be produced for a variety of territories and regions.

All the submitted artwork will be featured in a comprehensive section on the CSBC’s SARsmart website, sorted both seasonally and by community. This resource, in addition to the educational programs, can be drawn on by teachers and presenters to enhance future in-school presentations. The site will also contain other important information and educational resources about SAR incident prevention.
Boating Safety Speaks
More and more people are discovering the joy of boating, but with increasingly busy waterways, it is even more important that boaters have the knowledge they need to stay safe. This summer the Canadian Safe Boating Council is training boaters on how to better share Canada’s waters, with the BoSS (Boating Safety Speaks) campaign. BoSS is a national boating safety outreach program which uses Augmented Reality experiences delivered through posters, social media and other traditional promotional vehicles. Using a handheld device - cell phone, iPad, etc. - augmented reality brings the safety messaging to life, delivering videos, interactive scenarios and additional virtual experiences, greatly expanding on the original message.

Shared Waters is the third (in a series of 6) campaigns, and focuses on Night Boating and Collision Avoidance. These subjects were chosen because collisions between recreational boats are the number one type of boating incidents. Content for this campaign includes interactive boating situations where BoSS helps the viewer better prepare for night boating, avoiding daytime collisions and close calls, and operating in busy channels and waterways. It also includes tips on how to boat safely at night and the rules of the road.

This program is sharable, and we encourage you to check it out and distribute it widely to your own communities during this year’s boating season. Click here to download and print this poster to learn more and to share this information with your community.
Boating is fun and enjoyable as long as it is done safely and responsibly. Visit for more tips on boating safety!
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
As you are out on the water this summer, please keep an eye out for individuals and organizations who are playing a valuable role in helping us stay safe on the water. Whether it’s modelling and promoting safe boating practices, promoting lifejacket wear, rescuing those in trouble, developing technology to support safe boating or safeguarding the marine environment, all of us in the boating community and the boating industry have a valuable role to play. The CASBAs are an occasion to recognize those who have made a key contribution to boating safety and marine environmental protection over the last year.

The next CASBAs will be celebrating contributions in both 2020 and 2021, since the COVID-19 situation precluded holding the CASBAs in January 2021.
We will be announcing more specific plans for this bumper event in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, please consider nominating individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • Marine Professional of the Year

  • Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety
  • Safeguarding the Environment
  • Visible PFD Wear in Advertising
  • Marine Industry
  • Stearns Rescue of the Year
  • Best Boating Safety Initiative
  • Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety
  • Special Recognition.
CASBAs Presenting Sponsor
Boating Safety in the United States
The United States Coast Guard has published its 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics report. Among the key findings:

  • Boating activity rose significantly during the pandemic.

  • The Coast Guard counted 5,265 accidents that involved 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries and approximately $62.5 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. 

  • The fatality rate was 6.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, which represents a 25% increase from the 2019 fatality rate of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

  • Compared to 2019, the number of accidents increased 26.3%, the number of deaths increased 25.1%, and the number of injuries increased 24.7%.

  • 75% of fatal boating accident victims drowned; 86% were not wearing a life jacket.

  • Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.

  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

  • 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.

  • Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (22%), and cabin motorboats (13%). The vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (50%), kayaks (15%), and pontoons (9%).

To learn more about boating safety in the United States, plan to attend the CSBC Virtual Symposium on October 1, and hear from Verne Gifford, Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division.
Obituary: Cathy Sandiford
Canadian/American/U.K. networking at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit circa 2005. Cathy is on the far left, and you may also spot U.S. icon Ed Carter as well as current and former CSBC Directors Alan Martlin, Barbara Byers, Rick Cassels and Jean Murray
We are sad to report that Cathy Sandiford passed away in hospital on July 3 after a brief illness, and in the presence of her family. Cathy made a significant contribution to boating safety in Canada, both in the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, and was a well-loved colleague and friend. She was the first Director of the CCG Office of Boating Safety in 1995, and her collaborative approach in enlisting a wide range of stakeholders to help shape the future direction of the program and work together to resolve boating safety issues was ahead of its time. Her outreach to the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety led to ongoing collaboration.

During her pre-retirement assignment as a full-time adviser to the CSBC and in the several years she spent as a CSBC Board member, Cathy brought her strategic, analytical and communication skills to multiple initiatives. Her significant contributions included helping shape the CSBC’s most successful ever Canadian Safe Boating Campaign submission, producing the CSBC Newsletter and advancing the CSBC’s use of social media.

Cathy was a well-loved colleague and friend. Our condolences to Cathy’s family and friends.  
In brief
Haven't renewed your CSBC membership yet? It would be great to have you onboard! Go to Membership (

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance will be holding their next Symposium at the Mission Bay Resort, San Diego on September 13 and 14, 2021. Both in-person and virtual registrations are available. For more information, click here 2021 Drowning Prevention Symposium – NDPA

The SARSCENE conference will be held virtually this year, from September 25 - October 3, and will be hosted by the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers. More details at SARscene 2021

Stuck behind a desk when you’d rather be out on the water? Check out Deep Cove Kayak’s live webcam at Better than a coffee break!