CSBC Newsletter - February 2019
- Message from the Chair
- Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) 2018
- CSBC Membership – its Importance and Benefits
- Senate Report on Maritime Search and Rescue
- Boating Safety in Manitoba
- Boating Safety in Tasmania
- New Disasters at Sea TV Series
- SAR Alerting in New Zealand
- In Brief
Let me start by wishing everyone a safe and happy boating season for 2019.
By the time you read this the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAS) will be over for another year. My thanks to the hard work of many CSBC volunteers who recognize the exceptional contributions to boating safety by boaters like you and I across the country.
In this message I am going to remind you about all the work the CSBC does to promote safe boating for all.
Part of the mission of the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is to provide common core education messages and resource materials that anyone can use as boaters or boating safety educators.
The CSBC focuses on five core messages:
- Wear your Lifejacket
- Boat sober. This includes both alcohol and drug related messaging.
- Take a Boating Course
- Be Prepared – You and Your Vessel
- Cold Water Immersion
The CSBC has talked about many subjects related to these issues over the years but I encourage all of you go to the CSBC web site where you will find a large variety of information and resource material that is all free and downloadable. Go to
As part of this site you will be able to click on the SmartBoater.ca section, click on your preferred type of vessel and find specifically related information, including all of the required safety equipment and how to choose and care for it.
There is also a convenient, free Boat Notes App that you can use anytime and access the information above and more using your smart phone or tablet. A downloadable e copy of Boat Notes is also available that you can print out.
We often enjoy boating in the fall and there is a program geared to “Stretching the Season” that offers information about cold water, being prepared, weather conditions and a sample float or trip plan that you can download and use for any kind of trip, both on and off the water.
As an example, here is a small sample of the kind of information that you can find in the Stretching the Season section:
During the spring and fall months it’s important that you are prepared for each and every trip. The benefits of spring and fall boating necessitate extra attention and an ability to be self-sufficient because there are fewer boaters in the immediate vicinity should you require assistance.
Before you head out, complete a pre-departure checklist. Take a few minutes to walk around your boat and carry out a visual inspection to ensure your boat and engine are in good shape and mechanically sound. Motor problem or running out of fuel cause more than half of the calls for assistance and these are usually preventable problems. Remember, for fuel, 1/3rd out, 1/3rd back and 1/3rd reserve. It’s a good idea to carry some extra equipment with you as well. Consider the following:
Spare Clothing in a Watertight Bag
- If you will be on the water for more than a few hours, you may want to have spare clothing in a watertight bag. Don’t forget hats and clothing for foul weather. An extra set of clothing will be very welcome if you get wet and need a change.
Tool Kits and Spare Parts
- You may need to make repairs when you’re out on the water. Take along a tool kit and spare parts like fuses, bulbs, flashlight batteries, a spare propeller, nuts and bolts, penetrating oil, duct tape and spark plugs.
First Aid Equipment
- While boating, you may be far from medical help, so take a first aid kit with you. Store it in a dry place and replace used and outdated contents regularly. Pack it to meet your specific needs. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Drinking Water and High Energy Snacks
- Having drinking water and non-perishable snacks on board will help keep passengers properly nourished and hydrated should you encounter a minor breakdown which delays your return. It may also be all that’s needed to pacify younger children who are getting restless.
- Lifejackets/Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – wear them. Have one Canadian approved lifejacket/PFD for everyone onboard. Make sure they are in good condition, no rips or broken zippers or straps. They must be properly sized to fit each person onboard
- Make sure you have all the required safety equipment onboard and that it is in good working order. The same applies for any additional equipment that you are carrying
- Fuel: check your tank and spare fuel
- Brief your passengers on the location and use of all safety equipment including communication equipment
- Position passengers and cargo such that their weight is evenly distributed
- Check and monitor the weather
Condition of your boat
- Check for hull damage
- Check electrical, mechanical, fuel and cooling systems
- Check throttle and steering are working properly
- Check the oil levels and oil/water filters
- Check all hoses and water lines
- Check the battery for full charge
- Check all drain plugs and carry spares for all through hull fittings
- Check your load distribution for all equipment and passengers
- Run the blower for at least 4 minutes before starting the engine(s) and check for proper air flow.
The CSBC: volunteers working for you and the boaters that you represent
Have fun and boat safely!
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) 2018
The 2018 Canadian Safe Boating Awards were held on January 20 in Toronto, at the Westin Harbour Castle. At this gala event, the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), its members and stakeholders in recreational boating safety assembled to honour the people, programs, organizations and marinas that help to make boating in Canada safer and better for all of us, and to keep the environment clean.
The CSBC is proud to announce the following award winners:.
Marine Professional of the Year
Nautisme Québec -
Selected for a wide variety of projects benefitting the marine industry and boaters in the Province of Quebec
Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating
Dave Bieman –
honoured for his volunteer work with CPS-ECP at the squadron, district and national level for over 20 years
Safeguarding the Environment
Jennifer Pate –
Awarded for her work and outreach about preserving the world’s waters through documentary production (making the unseen seen) research and public awareness on micro plastics, and founding the world’s largest simultaneous sampling for micro plastics in ‘Love your Greats’
Fell Marine –
recognized for their Wireless Man Overboard System- The MOB PLUS
Stearns Rescue of the Year
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 14
. Selected for their incredible rescue of 2 people in the St. Lawrence River (near Rimouski, Quebec) in extreme conditions, including storm winds of 40 knots gusting to 50 knots. The crew members recognized were:
- John (Ted) Savage
- Philippe Charbonneau
- Johnatan Brunet
- François-Xavier Bérubé-Dufour
Best Boating Safety Initiative
Kids Don’t Float –
honoured the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue organization for their lifejacket loaner program in British Columbia, ‘Kids Don't Float’
Visible PFD Wear in Advertising
CIBC Aventura –
awarded for their credit card advertisements ‘normalizing’ lifejacket wear through featuring their familiar penguins wearing lifejackets on board a boat.
Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety
Blue Ant Media –
recognized for their in-kind contribution as part of a campaign created in partnership with Paddle Canada called “Safety Never Gets Old”
Group of 14 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers
- honoured for their rescue of 18 youth from frigid Lake Simcoe waters on May 4, in a storm that generated 100 km winds and 8-foot waves. OPP officers included:
- Sgt. Walter Baumann
- Sgt. Andrew Kinapen
- Sgt. Thomas Laing
- Sgt. Scott Ross
- Const. Amanda Belanger
- Const. David Boyd
- Const. Matthew Ellwood
- Const. Grant Geldenhuys
- Const. Matthew Gontier
- Const. Ian Hester
- Const. Marcus Lee
- Const. Andrew MacDonald
- Const. Scott Williams
- Joanne Swain –Communications Operator.
The CASBA Gala recognizes the efforts of the public, volunteers, professionals, agencies and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safety and environmental stewardship. Each CASBA event has shared amazing stories of bravery, innovation, passion and dedication.
The CSBC would like to thank our sponsors, without whom the CASBAs would not be possible:
- Presenting Sponsor - Stearns
- Gold Sponsor – Cook-Rees Memorial Fund
- Silver Sponsor – Salus Marine
- Silver Sponsor – Yamaha
- Silver Sponsor – Mustang Survival
- Silver Sponsor – Playsafe Productions
CSBC Membership - its Importance and Benefits
The CSBC is a volunteer-driven organization. In plain language, our many worthwhile initiatives would not be possible without your support.
Through Safe Boating Awareness Week, our annual Symposium, the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA) and numerous Canadian Safe Boating Campaign programs we are confident that the CSBC is having a positive impact on the behaviour of recreational boaters and on the number of boating-related accidents and drownings. But we can only continue with your support!
Membership renewal notices were sent out mid-January; the response to date has been encouraging. If you have not already renewed your membership, please do so now. The corporate membership fee for 2019 is $250. The individual membership fee is
$75. Paying your membership renewal fee is simple. Go to
fill in the required information under the Membership Renewal portal. Or if you prefer, download the PDF membership form and mail it and your cheque to Canadian Safe Boating Council, 400 Consumers Road, Toronto, ON, CAN, M2J 1P8.
Membership in the CSBC gives you access to extensive free resources to support you, your members and customers in enjoying safe and enjoyable boating experiences on the water. To learn more about the benefits of CSBC membership please go to
you are aware of the Stearns/Coleman Canada discount offer to CSBC members on all online purchases through any Coleman Canada website. (
Demonstrating their support of the CSBC, Stearns have increased the discount to 40%!
Once more, the discount applies to the full line of Coleman Canada products, including Stearns PFDs, Sevylor inflatables, Coleman outdoor gear and much, much more. And everyone in your organization can take advantage of this offer. So please, make sure they are aware – and benefit.
As a previous member, you already have the password required when making online purchases at discount prices. If a new member, you will be issued the password when fees are paid. Should you need help, please contact
. With summer on the horizon, take advantage of significant savings and the convenience of online shopping now!
Senate Report on Maritime Search and Rescue
Thanks to Ron Kroeker, CSBC Director, for this article
After several years in progress, the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) was released in November 2018.
A total of 17 recommendations were made; most of the recommendations focused on maritime/Arctic search and rescue, but several were related to prevention, with potential implications for recreational boating governance.
The report notes that 100 recreational boating fatalities occur on average annually in Canada. Pleasure craft have historically represented the largest, single-search object category in maritime SAR. Witnesses noted a large and increasing recreational boating population in Canada; many of whom are new pleasure boaters, without experience. The Committee stressed the need to continually promote boating safety in all three Search and Rescue regions.
The responsibility for recreational boating safety currently resides with the Office of Boating Safety (OBS) in Transport Canada (TC). The Committee was briefed that OBS was transferred from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to TC in 20013, and that transfer is believed to have contributed to a reduction in SAR prevention and boating safety. OBS had once been recognized as the single most important source of funding for boating safety in Canada, but its influence had waned. The report recommends that the federal government return responsibility for SAR prevention and recreational boating safety back to the CCG, along with the associated funding.
The CSBC is supportive of the need to review maritime SAR services on a periodic basis, and recognizes and appreciates the comprehensive approach taken by the Committee.
The CSBC welcomes the report’s recognition of the value of prevention as a key element of the national SAR system, as well as its highlighting of pleasure craft as the most significant category of maritime SAR incidents. The report focuses on prevention in the commercial fishing vessel sector, but unfortunately does not deal with its importance in the recreational boating sector. This would have given a more comprehensive picture of the prevention function, and the value of the key role played by the CSBC.
The CSBC notes the comments made in the report on the diminution of Transport Canada’s prevention function over the last several years, and the opportunity for the Canadian Coast Guard to play a more active role in this area, as a complement to its response activities. It would be inappropriate for the CSBC to comment on how the federal government allocates departmental and agency responsibilities. Under any organizational structure, however, the CSBC believes strongly in all partners working closely together to provide seamless SAR response and effective SAR prevention across all jurisdictions, and in every part of the country.
The CSBC welcomes the Committee’s emphasis on SAR in the Arctic and remote communities, and its recognition of the inherent and increasing maritime safety risks in these areas. In the CSBC’s boating safety work in the North over the last several years, we have experienced first-hand the value of local community-based safety initiatives, and the importance of all partners working together to design and deliver safety programs that are appropriate, effective and sustainable.
Boating Safety in Manitoba
By Bob Chabot, Staff Sergeant, Inland Water Transport Coordinator, D Division. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Marine enforcement and educational campaigns in Manitoba (D Division) have grown exponentially over the past several years. Specifically, over the past 3 years the RCMP in D Division created a Water Transport Coordinator (WTC) position. This position supports and manages the Marine Program within Manitoba. D Division has the 2
nd largest fleet in the RCMP: over 50 vessels, second only to E Division (B.C.) which has 99 vessels. The fleet consists of a wide number of types and lengths of vessels. The northern areas utilize the vessels as basic police transport just the same as a police car; using vessels daily as transport to and from calls for service. The challenges and opportunities associated with the remote northern locations and busy recreational areas in the south provide a vast array of opportunities for the RCMP to connect with communities and recreational boaters in all areas of Manitoba.
Since the creation of this position the RCMP in D Division have been better able to provide educational and enforcement initiatives, with over $300,000 in deficiency reports issued to recreational boaters (marine warnings). These warnings are shared with Transport Canada in order to track and provide a front line snapshot of the safety equipment and documentation not being carried by recreational boaters. The deficiencies vary but overall 90-95% of recreational boaters in Manitoba are deficient in one way or another. One of the most common equipment deficiencies is not carrying a watertight flashlight, or carrying one that does not work or has no batteries. The most common missing documentation is the failure to produce the vessel licence. Many of the owners/operators stopped on the water have a difficult time locating their safety equipment within their vessel in a timely fashion. It is evident that many have never opened the packages after purchase!
When the RCMP checks a vessel, the operators/owners and passengers are educated on the proper use and importance of wearing PFDs and lifejackets. Proper maintenance and approved types are always discussed. It is common in Manitoba, similar to other regions, that children and youth are wearing PFDs on the water but there is a reluctance for adults to do the same. Over the course of the next boating season surveys will be conducted to determine the percentage of adults wearing PFDs while recreational boating.
Another important aspect of the WTC’s responsibilities is maintaining, updating and providing training to the RCMP members. With a team of several instructors the WTC is responsible for all marine training. This includes Small Vessel Operators Proficiency, Marine Emergency Duties A3, and the Restricted Operators Certificate – Marine radio course, as well as a variety of in-house marine courses. D Division trains approximately 40 candidates per year, with a course running 6 full days. A successful candidate then has the basic knowledge of operating a vessel as well as trailering and police duties associated with the marine environment. It is then up to the candidates to further their skills out on the water.
All members conducting enforcement or educational patrols are equipped to detect impaired boaters, either by alcohol or drugs. There are a variety of methods and instruments that police use to detect impaired boaters. The laws in this regard are basically identical to impaired driving in a vehicle, with some administrative differences between provinces. The penalties are the same under the Criminal Code. Provincial liquor laws vary from province to province, and there are different laws pertaining to consumption and possession in a vessel. It has been my experience that the vast majority of recreational boaters respect the impaired driving laws. There are, however, always the exceptions. It will be an interesting couple of years as we become accustomed to the marijuana possession/consumption laws. It has always been the message in D Division that boating sober is the only safe way to operate a vessel.
We have in D Division worked in partnership with the CSBC for the past several years, aligning with the national campaigns of Operation Dry Water, Hooked on Life Jackets, Safe Boating Awareness Week and others. We have also worked closely with the Manitoba Life Saving Society (MLSC) on media messages and kick-starting the safety campaigns.
The good news is we are just getting started! We are excited about continuing our work with the CSBC and MLSC and have seen a difference in recreational boating messages across the province. Although the lakes are frozen in Manitoba right now we continue to work hard, with the goal of having the safest waters in Canada.
Did you know that Manitoba has the 10
th largest freshwater lake in the world?! Lake Winnipeg, Canada’s third largest lake completely contained within Canada and has been often called an Inland Ocean.
Boating Safety in Tasmania
With thanks to CSBC Special Correspondent Peter Hopkins, General Manager - Recreational Boating Safety & Facilities, Marine and Safety Tasmania
We are at the halfway mark of summer in Tasmania and so far, the weather has been the best we have experienced in many years.
To date, we are fatality free but there have been a number of capsizes where the crew has been lucky enough to have been rescued or to have made it ashore. Some of these have revolved around the great Tassie desire to set a cray pot and catch fresh rock lobsters (crayfish). The crays have been potting well but people continue to take silly risks.
Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has undertaken a comprehensive PR safety campaign for the summer and through to Easter. This is centered on servicing lifejackets, making the right decisions and the issues with older boats that have not been maintained.
Our staff is conducting many boat ramp checks right around the state and whilst the compliance rate is high, it is still most alarming to see the high number of old inflatables still in use that have not been serviced. We are coming up against rusty cylinders, poorly maintained jackets and complete ignorance with many owners of inflatable lifejackets. “It won’t happen to me” seems to be the common attitude. Some say they are good swimmers and others are “very experienced”. Many people are astounded when they see their jacket is simply not going to work, and they are straight onto having the problem rectified.
The MAST lifejacket voucher replacement scheme is going extremely well. MAST has teamed up with our Boat Safe Partners and is giving people a $20.00 discount to exchange their old standard lifejackets to the new standard. The old jackets are being collected and their condition assessed. Those that are in sound condition are being sent to Papua New Guinea where their Marine Safety team of three are doing the best they can with very limited resources.
Lifejackets bound for Papua New Guinea
Last year was a record in relation to our School Education program. MAST visited 60 schools and spoke to 5,862 children in relation to the importance of safe boating. In addition to our school visits, an additional 9,500 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 were exposed to boating safety through the swimming and water safety program, which is a compulsory component of the public education system in the state. In this program, the children are involved in a variety of in-water activities. MAST has purchased several dinghies and these are located at pools across the state. The activities include children seeing what happens when you overload a boat, they experience what lifejackets will do when fitted correctly and they also see how difficult it is to put a lifejacket on when in the water.
These education programs will hopefully have beneficial safety results in future years.
Let’s hope the rest of our summer remains fatality free, but, as we know, one poor decision can change all that! Hope the ice starts melting soon and your boating season is safe.
New Disasters at Sea TV Series
A new TV docu-drama series on
Disasters at Sea
is coming to the Discovery Channel Canada. A Northwest Pacific typhoon that sank a cargo ship and launched a twenty-year investigation. An icy fight for survival on an Antarctic cruise. A simple turn that inexplicably capsized a cargo ship in Norway. Shipwrecks of massive scale and significance have rocked the world, perplexed investigators, and changed the shipping industry. In this series, you will be able to revisit and reexamine some of the most mysterious and harrowing sea disasters of the last 50 years.
At the CSBC, our focus is on boating as a fun recreational activity, when safety is part of the boating trip. These ‘marine disasters’, beyond their historical significance, have served as platforms to make today’s boating safe and reliable. Coming in our April newsletter: more details about the series, including air dates and an exclusive interview with Kelly McKeown, Executive Producer of
Disasters At Sea,
including how the production company goes to great lengths to ensure everything is 100% factually accurate.
SAR Alerting in New Zealand
While many Canadians are shivering in the snow and ice of winter, it is the middle of boating season for Aussies and Kiwis! New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) recently carried out a survey of alerting methods used by people who had been rescued as part of a SAR response. An alarming percentage of ‘boaties’ (recreational boaters) are reliant on their mobile phones for alerting, which is a problem as many parts of New Zealand lack cell coverage. Also, 4% carried no means of communication!
Percentages of boaties carrying this type of alerting device in their vessel:
Mobile phone 93.5%
Marine VHF radio 48 %
Flares 39 %
Distress beacon (EPIRB) 19.5%
Satellite phone 0 %
HF radio 0 %
No communications 4 %
NZSAR now plans more targeted messaging around taking appropriate communications, one of the key Boating Safety Code messages.
We`re looking forward to summer! The LCBO will again support the CSBC through its Donation Box Program, running from May 26 - June 20, 2019 in liquor stores across Ontario. Read more about this in our April newsletter.
The International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from March 24 – 27, 2019. To learn more about this year's IBWSS, visit
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The National Spring 2019 CMAC meeting will take place over two days on Tuesday April 16 and Wednesday April 17, 2019.