December 2023


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In this issue

  • Message from the Chair
  • CASBAs
  • Coming in the New Year!
  • Western Australia Introduces Blood Alcohol Testing
  • Canadian SAR Volunteer Wins International Award
  • Consultations on VORR
  • In Brief 

Message from the Chair

Dear Members and Supporters,

Looking back on a successful year, I am filled with gratitude for the unwavering support and dedication that defines our community. Your commitment to boating safety has been the driving force behind our achievements, and as we embrace the holiday spirit and the end of 2023, let's reflect on the positive impact we've collectively made on the boating landscape.

I would like to share a congratulations to Lawrence and his dedicated team for orchestrating an exceptional Symposium in the charming city of St. John's. The event was a resounding success, and this accomplishment stands as a testament to our collective commitment to strengthening ties with both industry and government partners, fostering a collaborative environment that promotes boating safety and innovation.

It was an occasion to applaud the achievements of our community and inspire one another. One highlight for me was the opportunity to present the Distinguished Service Citation to Rick Cassels. Rick’s commitment to our cause does not go unnoticed, and I extend my deepest appreciation for the 24 years of time and energy Rick has invested in our shared mission and wish him nothing but the best in all future endeavors.

Mark your calendars and save the date, for on January 21, amidst the excitement of the Toronto Boat Show, let us celebrate the individuals and organizations that continue to make a significant impact on the safety and enjoyment of our boating experiences at the Canadian Safe Boating Awards Gala. This prestigious event promises an evening of celebration, recognizing outstanding contributions to boating safety and honoring those who have gone above and beyond in promoting our shared mission. It is an occasion to applaud the achievements of our community and inspire one another as we embark on a new year filled with possibilities.

As we transition into the colder months, let us reflect on the achievements of the past season and look ahead to the opportunities that lie on the horizon. The success of our recent symposium and the ongoing efforts of our board and volunteers inspire confidence in our ability to make a lasting impact on boating safety.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season, filled with warmth, peace, and the company of loved ones. May the new year usher in prosperity and exciting new adventures on the water.

Thank you all for your continued support and dedication to the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

Mike Dean

25th Anniversary of Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)

Everyone who loves boating, works in the boating industry or cares about marine safety and safeguarding of the marine environment is welcome to join us at the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) on Sunday January 21, 2024 at the National Yacht Club, 1 Stadium Road, Toronto. Doors open at 1715, and the awards ceremony starts at 1915. With a dinner buffet, cash bar and informal atmosphere, this is an evening of meeting up with colleagues old and new, learning about innovative ideas and key accomplishments in the boating field, and celebrating the boating heroes who have made a significant difference over the past year.

Tickets are $60 per person, $450 per table of eight, and are likely to sell out quickly. To register, go to CASBA Registration (

Coming in the New Year!

The CSBC will be running more virtual cold water workshops in the New Year. Workshops will take place on January 16/18, February 6/8 and March 12/14, and will run over two evenings from 8 – 1030 EST. Go to Cold Water Workshops ( to learn more, and to register.

Do you have any difficult-to-buy-for family or friends on your Christmas gift list? If they love boating, hunting or fishing, why not give them a virtual Cold Water Workshop registration? At $100 for a two evening Zoom workshop, it’s affordable, an opportunity to learn from renowned thermophysiology expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht - and could help save their life! 

Western Australia Introduces Blood Alcohol Testing

With thanks to Laurie Adams, Manager Safety Education-Maritime, Department of Transport, Western Australia. 

Western Australia (WA) is moving towards Blood Alcohol Level testing for drugs and alcohol in early 2024. The new marine drug and alcohol laws will:

  • set legal limits on levels of blood alcohol or drugs affecting skippers navigating vessels;
  • allow testing of skippers for drugs or alcohol;
  • create new offences to target the unsafe operation of vessels; and
  • increase penalties for skippers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For information visit Marine alcohol and drug laws (

The new laws, bringing WA in line with jurisdictions across Australia, will mirror laws in place for WA road users with aligned blood alcohol limits and drug types.

Canadian SAR Volunteer Wins International Award

Congratulations to Amber Sheasgreen of Royal Canadian Maritime Search and Rescue (RCMSAR), who has won the International Maritime SAR Foundation (IMRF) Award #WOMENINSAR: for an outstanding individual, who is an inspirational role model for women and girls in Maritime SAR.  

Amber Sheasgreen serves as Operations Manager for Royal Canadian Maritime Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) where she advocates for active recruitment of female crew. Amber has pushed to diversify RCMSAR promotional materials to dispel the perception that SAR is a male-orientated activity, and has set up a programme to showcase RCMSAR and how women can get involved at female community-centric events. Amber has also donated her time to developing and encouraging other women in maritime SAR, such as working alongside less experienced female crewmembers volunteering with Sea-Eye and Refugee Rescue. 

More information: IMRF Awards 2023 | International Maritime Rescue Federation (

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue | RCMSAR | East Sooke BC

Consultations on Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR)

Transport Canada has launched consultations on the modernization of the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations and on the issue of long-term anchoring of vessels, such as floating accommodation. If you’d like to provide feedback on these changes, please visit the Let’s Talk Transportation webpage to participate in the discussion. The consultation will end on December 11, 2023. If you have any questions regarding the consultation, please communicate with Transport Canada at [email protected].

In Brief

Congratulations to Eric Nelson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mercury Marine, who has been elected Chairperson of the NMMA Canada Board of Directors, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the marine industry.


The next International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held from April 8 – 11, 2024 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque, Home - International Boating & Water Safety Summit (

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