June 2022
The Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) Are Back!
Missing: Tara Bellefontaine and JRCC
After a two year hiatus, the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) were held on Saturday, May 28 at the Marriott Airport Hotel in Toronto. This was a bumper event, celebrating excellence in boating safety and environmental stewardship over the past two years, 2020 and 2021. At this gala event, the Canadian Safe Boating Council, 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 winners of this year’s CASBA Awards:
Marine Professional of the Year
Tara Bellefontaine has been the main thrust behind the successful execution of multiple projects related to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Program for almost ten years.
Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety
John Gullick for his 20+ years as a Director on the CSBC (including two terms as Chair) and countless other organizations that he has volunteered with over these years.
Safeguarding the Environment
Barnacle Systems for their BRNKL Rapid Deploy system, now used by the Canadian Coast Guard to help prevent environmental disasters caused by abandoned, derelict, or hazardous vessels by sending alerts automatically if a vessel begins to sink or drag anchor based on its built-in sensors.

Brandon Wright
Visible PFD in Advertising
Mustang Survival, for their The Capn’s Log series, which hosts survival stories, educational water-based best practices, and inspiring how-to’s that include safe adventures for the whole family.

Lorne Loiselle
Stearns Rescue of the Year
Brandon Zaccagnini for his swift actions in response to a tragic marine incident on the Detroit River, saving 12 lives.
Best Boating Safety Initiative
Sail Nova Scotia for spearheading the Halifax Boaters’ Guide, a two-page guide that educates those boating on Halifax Harbour.

Eric Hill
Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety
Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) for their work to develop and implement Recreational Boating Safety in British Columbia: A Social Marketing Campaign.

Ian Pike
Special Recognition
York Regional Police Marine and Underwater Recovery Unit for their outstanding work in recreational boating safety.

Peter Thibeau and Aaron Busby
Special Recognition
The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centres (JRCC): a team of professional, dedicated, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinators, for their outstanding and successful efforts in coordinating rescue missions.
The CASBA Gala recognizes the efforts of the public, volunteers, professionals, agencies, and organizations who have distinguished themselves in 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:
  • Gold Sponsor – Cook-Rees Memorial Fund
  • Silver Sponsor – Salus Marine
  • Silver Sponsor – Yamaha

For additional information on the 2021 CASBAs winners, future events, and boating safety information, please visit www.csbc.ca.

And with this year’s boating season already under way, keep a lookout when you’re on the water for individuals and organizations you’d like to consider nominating for next year’s CASBAs!
New Canadian Safe Boating Council Board Elected
At the CSBC’s Annual General Meeting on May 29, 2022, the following slate of Directors and officers was elected:

Chair: John Gullick
Vice Chair: Mal Blann
Secretary: Ron Kroeker
Treasurer and Past Chair: Joe Gatfield
Executive members at large: Mike Dean, Jean Murray, tbd

Returning Directors: 
Barbara Byers, Ian Campbell, Rick Cassels, Ian Gilson, Peter Heard, Lawrence Jacobs, Michelle McShane, Dave Moffatt, Brenda Reeve, Denis Vallée, Steve Wagner plus above Executive

New Directors:
Mike Dean, a former member of the CSBC Board and Executive, and Jason Krott were elected to the Board. 

Bob Chabot is stepping down from the Board.

Ex-officio observer: Robert Newsome, Chair, U.S. National Safe Boating Council

Directors Emeritus: Ted Fortuna and Michael Vollmer (CSBC Chair appointments)

CSBC incoming Chair John Gullick thanked retiring Chair Joe Gatfield for his outstanding leadership, and Denis Vallée for his years of service as CSBC Treasurer. He thanked Bob Chabot for his contribution, and all the continuing Board members for their ongoing commitment. He warmly welcomed the new Directors. The CSBC is a volunteer-based organization, and our growth as an influential and successful boating safety organization is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Board, Committee Chairs and project leaders. 
Better Boater: Share Your Story!
BetterBoater is a 3-year CSBC national boating safety and social media outreach program, supported by funding from Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program. “I Learned About Boating From…” is the new educational segment that we are introducing to the BetterBoater community during this second year of the program.

It is always better to learn from the experiences of others before you have them yourself… especially if the experiences are bad! Plus it has been demonstrated that communities of interest enjoy hearing about the experiences of others, both good and bad and that is why BetterBoater will be introducing an interactive feature, I Learned about Boating From…

The BetterBoater community will be invited to share their boating experiences in which they have learned lessons about becoming a better boater. These glimpses into fellow boaters’ experiences will provide sharing opportunities and learning from both the mistakes and successes of others.  

And this is where we are requesting assistance from our CSBC community. What learning stories do you, your family members or friends have? We would love you to share them with us and the BetterBoater community! So please send us your stories and experiences to cheryl@playsafeproductions.com
CSBC Research on LifeJacket Wear
The CSBC is carrying out a two year project called Research That Floats, supported by funding from Public Safety Canada’s SAR New Initiatives Fund. A key component of the project is a lifejacket wear rate study of Canadian boaters on inland lakes. It is important to know the rate of lifejacket wearing in order to measure the effectiveness of education campaigns, changes in enforcement focus and potential legislative changes. A wear rate study is exactly as it sounds. It reports on the actual wearing of lifejackets by all passengers in vessels in a sample study area. 

A baseline lifejacket study was conducted in July and August 2021. The observation study was in Ontario in four different lake areas: 

  • Nipissing Lakes
  • Almaguin, Muskoka and Haliburton Lakes
  • Lake Simcoe
  • Kawartha Lakes including Lake Scugog and Rice Lake.
Lakes in Ontario were chosen for measurement because drowning statistics from the Lifesaving Society inform us that the largest number of drownings occurs in lakes (62%), Ontario is the province with the most boating fatalities (average of 30 per year) and because the CSBC was able to utilize the resources of two pilots with their airplanes to facilitate a large number of observations of boaters both close to shore and in the middle of the lakes. In total 4500 boats and almost 12,000 boaters were observed. 

This was a change from the more traditional observation from shore methodology. This enabled the observers to observe boaters where they boat and how they boat in the water. The CSBC used float-equipped aircraft that overflew the target lakes and took pictures of the subject vessels with geo-referenced, gyro-stabilized cameras, producing crystal-clear pictures that provided information about the boat and boaters aboard from a variety of angles. The pictures are held secure and private and not shared with anyone other than the research personnel.

What did we learn? 90% of boaters observed were powerboaters, 7% were paddlers and 3% were in sail boats. The overall lifejacket wear rate observed in all boat types, sizes and ages of passengers was 25%. Groups with the lowest incidence of lifejacket wearing were powerboaters (excluding PWC) at 18%, and only 11% if children are excluded. The groups with the highest incidence of lifejacket wearing by vessel type were those on PWCs at 98%, on kayaks and canoes at 68%, and those on sailboats at 47%.

By age, not surprisingly, lifejacket wearing by children is extremely high at 87%, followed by teens at 47%. And of great concern, is that seniors’ wear rate was only 9%.

Stay tuned! Phase 2 of the wear rate study will take place in July and August 2022.
Just Announced: New Dates for Virtual Cold Water Workshops
The Canadian Safe Boating Council is continuing our very popular virtual Cold Water Workshops with Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht this fall and winter. Ten more Zoom workshops will be held as follows:

8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Eastern

  10. TUESDAY, MARCH 21 & THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2023

If you’re a first responder, work or just spend time recreating on or near cold water, this workshop is for you. You will learn everything you need to know to survive an accidental cold water immersion and also how to help others who may have become hypothermic. It is hosted by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), delivered over Zoom and covers...

✔ Understanding the Myths Around Cold Water Immersion and Hypothermia 
✔ How Our Bodies React to Heat and Cold Stimuli 
✔ 4 Ways Our Bodies Lose Heat 
✔ What Happens to Our Bodies When Immersed in Cold Water 
✔ Immersion vs. Submersion in Cold Water 
✔ Cold Water Survival and Thermal Protective Clothing 
✔ Basic First Response…When You’re The Only One Who Can Help! 
✔ The Decision to Stay or Swim When You’re on Your Own

The cost of this online Cold Water Workshop is only $100 and participants will receive a certificate of completion. Registration can be completed by going to the Canadian Safe Boating Council website www.csbc.ca and selecting Cold Water Workshop under “Events” or click here. Please note that the course instruction will be in English. 

For more information, contact Ian Gilson at igilson@rogers.com
Recreational Boating Fatalities in Tasmania 2001-2021
With thanks to CSBC Special Correspondent Peter Hopkins, General Manager – Recreational Boating Safety & Facilities, Marine and Safety Tasmania
A review of recreational boating fatalities in Tasmania over the last 20 years has shown that wearing lifejackets makes a big difference. In January 2001 Tasmania became the first jurisdiction globally to introduce compulsory lifejacket wear on recreational vessels (on vessels 6 metres and under whilst under power). During a period in which the recreational fleet almost doubled, the average annual loss of life went from 6.34 to 2.7 people. The study found a 96% compliance rate. Other highlights:

  • 50% of the fatalities were a result of the boat capsizing
  • Non-powered craft accounted for 26% of the fatalities
  • 50% of the fatalities occurred in fishing activities
  • 20% involved operating a raft or a kayak
  • Alcohol was detected in 17% of the fatalities (preliminary data)
  • 26% of fatalities involved boating alone
  • Males accounted for 96.5% of the fatalities. 
  • The average age of fatalities was 48, a slight increase. There has been a significant increase in fatalities among people over the age of 70
  • Of the 54 fatalities that ended up in the water, 67% occurred in water temperatures at or below 15 degrees C, indicating that cold water immersion or cold water shock played a role. There were more fatalities in fall and winter, even though fewer people are boating then, another indicator of the role played by cold water immersion or cold water shock.

You can find the Fatalities Report at https://mast.tas.gov.au/about/reports-annual-strategic/.
In brief
Pat Nelder retired from her role as Executive Director of Boating Atlantic this spring. The CSBC has appreciated Pat’s collegiality and support over many years, and we wish her well in the future.

Guiseppe Marino, President of the Societa Nazionale di Salvamento (SNS), Italy, passed away on 31 March. We would like to express our deepest condolences to Guiseppe’s family, friends and colleagues at the SNS, which he led so capably for 29 years. His commitment to marine safety and entrepreneurial spirit were greatly admired by his Canadian colleagues and friends. Thanks to his leadership and enthusiasm for international collaboration, the SNS and the Canadian Safe Boating Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in water safety initiatives, which we have valued.

Longstanding CSBC partner and supporter and popular CSBC Symposium speaker Baz Kirk, Manager, Sector Engagement and Collaboration, Maritime New Zealand, has been appointed Pacific Maritime Safety Advisor with the Pacific Maritime Safety Program (PMSP). The PMSP is a New Zealand Aid-funded program administered by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and delivered by Maritime NZ. In his new role Baz will be responsible for promoting and delivering maritime safety initiatives amongst indigenous peoples in such countries as Kiribati, Niue, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.