CSBC Newsletter                             February 2017
Message from the Chair
Let me start by wishing everyone a very happy, safe and productive new year.

I have just spent most of the last two weeks at the Toronto International Boat Show, which signals the start of boating for 2017. By all accounts it was an excellent show, the attendance appeared to be very good and new boat sales were good. The Vancouver International Boat Show also reported strong attendance and exhibitors said they had strong boat sales.

I expect that this trend will also be evident at the Halifax and Montreal Boat Shows so it looks like we are going to be in for a good boating season, perhaps one of our best in many years.

I hope this trend is mirrored on the boating safety side. So far it looks like last season saw a rise in boating-related incidents, especially early and late in the season so continued strong effort will need to be carried out by all of us.

You will see some excellent reports in this newsletter and I was particularly impressed by the diversity of this year's CASBA winners.  It was great to see that boating safety messaging is being presented by non-traditional organizations and individuals.

My continued concern is that when I look at many of the ad photos and marketing videos  there is a noticeable lack of visible lifejacket wear. Usually kids are wearing lifejackets but in most cases, with a few notable exceptions by manufacturers who also happen to be current and past CASBA winners or CSBC members, lifejackets are not even visible in photos, let alone being worn.

My personal challenge to all of us is to see what we can do to encourage visible lifejacket wear in any boating-related promotion and marketing efforts.

Why not join us for the CSBC Symposium in September in Quebec City?

Happy and Safe Boating,

John Gullick

Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) 2016

With thanks to all of our sponsors, who make the CASBAs possible, and to Boating Industry Canada for the photographs.

On January 22, the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) gathered a large group of Canadian boating safety advocates for the annual Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA) gala. They came to celebrate the efforts of individuals, companies and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the areas of boating safety and environmental stewardship during 2016.  The recipients were selected from a host of nominations received from the public at large from across Canada and the CSBC was honoured to have the entire group of award winners attend.

This was the 19th year of the CASBA's and 10 awards were presented for a wide variety of achievements. 

STEARNS Rescue of the Year:  Dan Peters
The northern waters of Lake Superior were still frigid in June 2016 when Richard Luskleet and his 12 year-old son Alex headed out in their canoe.  While they were prepared for a short time on the water, a turn in the weather upset their craft and they would drift submerged for over 5 hours.  Dan Peters, an off-duty Ontario Provincial Police member, did not hesitate but launched his small aluminum boat and started to search.  The waves increased and against the advice of others he headed further out, ultimately finding the pair and returning them to shore and to the care of doctors. If not for Dan's determination, Richard and Alex would certainly not have survived.

Best Boating Safety Initiative: Canadian Red Cross
The Canadian Red Cross, Quebec Region, was recognized for their personal flotation device awareness campaign, "Projet VFI", which first kicked off in Saguenay-Lac-Saint Jean in 2011, with the assistance of Transport Canada.  The focus was on those fishing or boating recreationally and teams challenged themselves to go where the audience was, expanding to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec. Their efforts have resulted in making over 60,000 direct contacts promoting the wear of flotation devices.

Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety: Ben Sewell
Ben Sewell, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Thompson, Manitoba, was recognized for his tireless work with families and youth teaching kayaking skills over a number of years.  Whether in the pool or experiencing Manitoba's north country, Ben focuses on skills development, water safety and respect for the power of nature.

Marine Professional of the Year:  William Scott
Constable Bill Scott of the Ontario Provincial Police has been engaged in marine response and education for almost 30 years.  Early on in his career he was assigned to police diving operations.  With his passion for marine policing ignited he has become a driving force in public education, enforcement, search and rescue operations and a highly skilled training officer for police and conservation officers.

Safeguarding the Environment: Sirius Signal and Weems & Plath
The innovation and creation of the SOS Distress Light sets a bright, safe and clean course forward for recreational boating.  Approved as a replacement for pyrotechnic signal flares in the USA for recreational boaters, the SOS Distress Light is easily and safely handled, operates over an extended period of time, is re-usable and eliminates the environmental challenges of disposing of traditional flares.  Sirius Signal (inventor) and Weems & Plath (manufacturer and distributor) are the joint recipients of this award. They were also recipients of the National Marine Manufacturers Association 2016 Innovation Award.

Visible PFD Wear in Advertising: PRINCECRAFT
While PRINCECRAFT received this award for their efforts in 2016, they have been committed to showcasing personal flotation and lifejacket wear in their watercraft promotions for over 30 years.  Boating safety is a key component of PRINCECRAFT's marketing efforts, whether in print or video formats, and they are not subtle about it.   

Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety: Mark King
The body of work that Mark King has contributed to the promotion of safe boating practices is significant and spans over 18 years. Specifically, Mark writes a boating safety column called "Lifeline" which is published in Power Boating Canada magazine. Through "Lifeline", Mark covers a wide variety of practical boating safety information to help boaters better enjoy their time on the water.

Special Recognition: Doreen Hinksman
Doreen Hinksman has seen and done a lot in her 50 plus years as a volunteer with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS).  Rising through the ranks, Doreen was the first female National Secretary, National Administration Officer, National Executive Officer and ultimately Chief Commander.  She didn't just break the 'glass ceiling' she shattered it and set a course for women within the CPS and beyond.

Marine Industry Award: Maplelea
Maplelea Girls are a wonderful collection of high-quality Canadian made dolls that reflect Canadian girls from coast to coast. One particular doll, Charlsea, lives on the West Coast and loves to kayak. Her accessories include a PFD, kayak with paddle and a journal which promotes boating safety and lifejacket wear. Charlsea normalizes wearing a lifejacket for young and impressionable girls and shows that thinking about boating safety is part of the fun of the boating experience.

Special Recognition: District of Tofino
Tragedy struck on October 25th, 2015 when the whale watching vessel, "Leviathan II" capsized, taking 6 lives and forever changing the lives of many others.  What also occurred was heroic.  The strength and compassion demonstrated by residents of the District of Tofino was truly inspiring.  The entire community provided comfort; they opened their homes, their hearts and their wallets, to provide medical care, food, accommodation and emotional support to the survivors.  They continue to support the survivors, rescuers and each other.  
The safety and enjoyment of some 15 million Canadians on our waterways every year is due in large part to individuals and organizations like these. Recognizing them is important, and telling their stories will hopefully inspire others. 

Mark Your Calendar for the 2017 CSBC Symposium in Québec City - September 17-19  

Known for its rich history and heritage, Québec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the location of the 2017 CSBC Symposium. Québec City is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes that are inviting to all outdoor and boating enthusiasts alike.

For a sneak peek of Québec City,  click here. 

You will want to join us!  
In brief

The International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida from April 23  -26, 2017. To learn more about this year's IBWSS, visit www.IBWSS.org, "Like" on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/IBWSS, or follow on Twitter @IBWSS.

The next national Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) conference is being planned for December 5 - 7, 2017 in Ottawa. Note that the CMAC website has been updated.