December 2019
CSBC Newsletter - December 2019
  • Message from the Chair
  • CASBAs
  • Canadian Drowning Report 2019
  • Which Country is This?
  • Save the Date!
  • Special Update for CSBC Members
  • Canadian Coast Guard Organizational Changes
  • In brief 
Message from the Chair
Since I last wrote to you, a lot has been happening. I would like to start with thanking the volunteers who made the Annual CSBC Symposium at the Waterside Inn in Port Credit, Ontario an overwhelming success. The theme ‘Shared Waterways’ was well received and you have had a chance to review the topics in the October News Splash. Our Thanks to all of our sponsors and especially our presenting sponsor Stearns/Coleman. We look forward to the next Symposium in St. Andrews by the Sea in New Brunswick next September….stay tuned for the details and we do hope to see you there.

This issue of the CSBC Newsletter marks a milestone in carrying our first paid advertisement, from Sirius XM Marine. We would like to welcome Sirius as a CSBC partner. The readership of the CSBC Newsletter continues to grow – we are now close to 600 subscribers, some organizations forward their copy to all of their members, and many others access the newsletters when they are posted on the CSBC website. If your organization is interested in advertising in the newsletter, please contact  [email protected].
Our thanks as well go to Stearns for their ongoing support as Presenting Sponsor of the CSBC Newsletter, as well as our flagship Symposium and CASBA events.

The next major event for the CSBC is the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA) to be held Sunday, January 19, 2020 at an all-new venue to the CSBC, the National Yacht Club at 1 Stadium Rd., Toronto on Lake Ontario. The registration fee is only $50 this year and you can go to to register. Please consider coming out to applaud this year’s winners….they just may be your colleagues. It will be a great evening, including a sandwich bar following the awards.
Since mid-September, I have attended seven different meetings/conferences all related to Boating Safety with probably a different twist to each one. This keeps the CSBC, and my host organization CPS-ECP, involved and current on what is happening in both Canada and the United States. Since September 11 the following are the organizations I interacted with at Board meetings, Annual Meetings, Symposiums or just a face to face encounter: United States Power Squadrons; Canadian Safe Boating Council Symposium and Board meeting; National Safe Boating Council; National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons; National Recreational Boating Advisory Council (Transport Canada) and the Recreational Boating Standing Committee (TC).
There was certainly a lot to be gleaned from all of the above and I am not really allowed that much space to summarize all that happened, but I will try and give you some highlights….and in no particular order.
  • Statistics – no matter which meeting, the cruel reality is that the accident and fatality statistics are still there and up front for all to realize. The increase in human-powered craft is now becoming a contributing factor to these statistics
  • The first bullet obviously leads to discussions on lifejacket wear, harmonization, who to wear, maintenance of inflatables, mandatory wear and a wide range of variable issues regarding lifejackets
  • Sharing waterways…..not only the theme of the CSBC Symposium, but appearing in many discussions. Big boats, little boats, jet powered boats, human powered vessels, rental boats and probably equally or more important in many ways, marine life
  • The environment is now a leading issue in many discussions. The effect on our waterways and all those that belong on or in the waterways especially the marine life.
  • A page from the environment book is the derelict and abandoned vessel issue….a worldwide problem. It is being addressed more today than before at the National, Provincial and State levels. Pro-active measures are becoming key in some areas.
  • Education cannot be stressed enough. It is a discussion and action item almost everywhere I go. It is not just the education of those using our waterways, it is the education of the instructors also to ensure the proper message is being received.
  • Boating under the Influence (BUI) has been aggressively attacked in recent years with programs such as ‘Operation Dry Water’. There has been great success with these programs and hopefully they have curtailed future drinking and boating.
  • Electronic Visual Distress Signals are being discussed more actively. Legal in the U.S. with conditions, they are still in the investigative stages in Canada.
  • Paddle sports or human powered craft continue to be a discussion point with reference to much of what is written above…statistics, education, shared waterways etc.
  • Cold Water Immersion is a key issue in most of our boating waterways in Canada and the U.S. Possible interventions are always being discussed and of course, the promotion of the CSBC Cold Water Workshops is always relevant.
  • The impact of high water levels in the Great Lakes is an ongoing discussion, with the great possibility they will be the same or even higher in 2020.
  • Many are involved in Strategic Planning and are in progress in their plans or just adopting plans to move their organizations forward.
  • The importance of Social Media has been stressed everywhere as to how to get the message out there in today’s evolving world.
As you can see, much of the above includes the elements of the CSBC five key Boating Safety messages:
  1. Wear your Lifejacket
  2. Boat Sober
  3. Take a Boating Course
  4. Be Prepared – you and your Vessel
  5. Beware of Cold Water Risks
I would like to close with excerpts from the remarks given by the new Chair of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Assistant Commander Game Warden Cody Jones, the Boating Law Administrator for Texas...his message is for all of us:
“We can’t do hard things without imagination and teamwork,
What if we imagined we could stop the deaths on our water?
What if we worked as one voice between our organizations, in our agencies, across the Nation and across the World?
Let us serve as one voice and as one team”.
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
The CASBA nominations have closed and the award committee has met and selected the recipients. This year a number of well deserving individuals, organizations and companies were nominated, making the selection of the recipients very tough for the committee. Nominations were received from across the country with numerous individuals volunteering tens of thousands of hours promoting safe recreational boating.

Join us on Sunday January 19, 2020 at the National Yacht Club in Toronto to meet these brave and dedicated recipients.

The CSBC appreciates the support of CASBA Presenting Sponsor Stearns, shown here at the recent CSBC Symposium
Caption: The Stearns/Coleman team, right to left: Bob King, J.D. Blades, Dawn Whiteside, Heena Patel, Sandra Street
Canadian Drowning Report 2019 Highlights
With thanks to Barbara Byers, CSBC Director and Public Education and Research Director, Lifesaving Society
There has been a decrease in boating-related drownings in the 2012-2016 period (an average of 103 per annum compared with 126 p.a. between 2007 and 2011.

Powerboats were consistently the craft most often involved in boating-related drowning fatalities, with an average of 55 p.a. (54% all boating fatalities). Small powerboats less than 5.5 metres long were more commonly involved (21%) than large powerboats (13%) or PWCs (4%).

Canoes were the next most common vessel, with an average of 22 fatalities p.a. The graph below shows further details of boating incidents per type of vessel.
In boating-related deaths for which related information was available, 81% of victims were not wearing a lifejacket at the time of the incident and an additional 5% were not wearing one properly. Of those victims who were not wearing a lifejacket, at least 34% had a lifejacket present in the boat but were unable to put it on during the incident.

Alcohol consumption was a factor in 35% of boating-related fatalities.

Major risk factors for boating drownings:
  • Not wearing a PFD/lifejacket (81%)
  • Cold water (65%)
  • Capsizing (42%)
  • Alcohol (35%)
  • Boating alone (30%)
  • Falling or being thrown overboard (29%)
  • Boating in darkness or twilight (22%)
  • Boating in rough water (22%).

  • Responsible for a Search and Rescue Region spanning 30 million square kilometres, 12.5% of the earth’s total water surface
  • 12,686 people involved in the SAR sector, more than 95% of whom are volunteers
  • Fuel excise duties paid by recreational boat users are channelled back into the SAR system
  • At the May 2019 SAR Awards, presented a Special Award to the Montreal-based COSPAS-SARSAT Secretariat.

The answer? Go to Part 2, at the end of this issue.
Save the Date!
The next CSBC Symposium will be held at the historic Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, from September 28 – October 1, 2020. Click here to see more about the hotel St. Andrews buzzes with the excitement of a community strongly influenced by the sea that surrounds it. As one of the oldest towns in the Maritimes, it offers a welcoming atmosphere, combined with picturesque scenery, stunning architecture, and vibrant marine life. 
Special Update for CSBC Members - New Coleman Canada/Stearns Discount Program Ordering Process
Canadian Safe Boating Council members benefit from a special discount program generously provided by Stearns, the presenting sponsor of CSBC, and its parent, Coleman Canada. Through this program, all our members – group/organization/association members and their employees/members, and individual CSBC members – can take advantage of the 40% discount off the price of many Coleman Canada outdoor products and Stearns lifejackets at  The process whereby you now order products, however, has changed because online ordering is no longer available through Coleman. Active CSBC members have been sent instructions describing the new ordering process.
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Organizational Changes
The following organizational changes to CCG Headquarters have recently been announced:

Strengthening the operational personnel function

A new branch will be created under the leadership of Director General Marc Sanderson, reporting directly to the Commissioner, to support operational training, mariner wellness, and trauma resiliency. The new Coast Guard Personnel Branch will also continue efforts to ensure that operational careers are open equally to women, men and gender-diverse individuals. It will include:
  • The Canadian Coast Guard College
  • Studies, Coast Guard College
  • Career Development and Wellness
  • Operational Personnel and Certification.

Strengthening the management of key assets needed for success

Deputy Commissioner, Andy Smith will lead the new Shipbuilding & Materiel sector. This new group brings together the Integrated Technical Services and Vessel Procurement branches to support full lifecycle management of key assets ranging from new ships to the most remote communication towers in Canada. Directly reporting to Deputy Commissioner Smith will be Robb Wight, Director General, Major Projects, and Sam Ryan, Director General, Integrated Technical Services and the Senior Director, Fleet Renewal Planning.

Strengthening Operations and Response

Deputy Commissioner Mario Pelletier will lead the new Operations and Response Sector. The Operations Branch, led by Director General Julie Gascon, will continue to be responsible for all fleet related activities, Maritime Domain Awareness and Marine Navigation.

The Response Branch, led by acting Director General Daniel Breton, will be responsible for all front line response programming including:
  • Incident Management
  • Search and Rescue
  • Environmental Response
  • Vessels of Concern.

Strengthening support to Headquarters

A new branch will be created and led by acting Director General Kathy Nghiem to focus on Innovation, Planning and Engagement. It will include:
  • Innovation
  • External Relations and Industry Engagement
  • Internal Communications, Event Management and Publications
  • Integrated Business Planning.
In brief
Captain Michael Hubbard passed away on October 4, 2019. Educated in the U.K. and a proud Master Mariner, Michael served for many years as Director General, Ship (Marine) Safety with the Canadian Coast Guard and subsequently Transport Canada. In this role he was also Chair of the Board of Steamship Inspection and made a significant contribution to the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Condolences to Michael’s family and friends.

Nautisme Québec will present the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show at the Palais des Congrés from 6 – 9 February, 2020. For more information, click here

The International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held in Glendale, Arizona from April 5 – 8, 2020. Click here for details.
Which Country is This? (Part 2)
And the answer is: New Zealand! Click here to read the New Zealand SAR Council Annual Report 2018-2019

New Zealand has a comprehensive National SAR Program encompassing marine, air and land modes. It is coordinated by the NZ SAR Secretariat, an organization originally modelled on Canada’s National SAR Secretariat, but extensively developed since that time.

New Zealand is one of the founding signatories, along with Australia, France, the U.K. and Canada, of the International Lifejacket Wear Principles Agreement