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2011 nautical safety campaign
Nautical Safety Campaign

DFO  A. Therrien

On May 18, 2011, the Quebec Boating Council (Conseil québécois du nautisme – CQN), whose members include the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard, launched the 2011 nautical safety campaign. CQN presents an encouraging report on the number of drownings in the last decade. In fact, there has been a downward trend in deaths connected to recreational activities since the 1990s. The only cloud on the horizon: deaths associated with canoeing and kayaking have increased by nearly 40 percent in 10 years. This trend was confirmed in 2010, when 11 of the 25 drowning deaths involved these types of watercraft.

“This increase in canoe- and kayak-related drowning deaths can notably be explained by the growing popularity of these nautical activities. The Quebec Boating Council strongly recommends that new enthusiasts take a course,” says the Council’s president, Guy L’Écuyer.

In fact, simulations involving the self-rescue and rescue of kayakers were presented to the media in the Port of Montréal.

Five recommendations

With an eye to the future boating season, the Quebec Boating Council reminds recreational boaters of the elementary safety rules to adopt:

  • Wear your life jacket.

  • Don't drink alcohol while boating.

  • Like on the road, drinking alcohol or taking drugs impairs the abilities of the consumer. Moreover, at least 20 percent of victims were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Take a boating course.

  • Since September 15, 2009, anyone operating motorized watercraft has to have in his or her possession an operator competency certificate. A motorized watercraft is any marine vehicle equipped with a motor of any size, even an electric propeller.
  • Be ready – you and your boat.

  • Certain essential equipment must be present aboard any watercraft. A personal floatation device (PFD) per person, a buoyant heaving line, light signalling devices (flares), bailer, fire extinguisher, etc.; these are things that could save your life!
  • Be aware of the danger of falling into cold water.

  • In 2010, 16 of the 25 drownings happened while the water in Quebec’s water lakes and rivers was still very cold.

Quebec Boating Council (French)

1Data gathered from Faits saillants sur les noyades et les autres décès liés à l'eau au Québec de 2000-2008– Édition 2010 published by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and statistics confirmed by police authorities and provided by Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety.

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