Drowning statistics consistently show that 80% of victims in
boating-related drownings were not wearing a
lifejacket/PFD. Wearing a lifejacket or PFD is the most effective
way to reduce boating-related drownings in Canada.
Many boaters feel false security because they are strong
swimmers or because there is a lifejacket within reach. But trying
to put a lifejacket on before you capsize, or while in the water,
is like trying to buckle your seatbelt right before your car
crashes - it's impossible. Anxiety, wave-action, weeds, clothing
and especially cold water are all working against
your ability to swim to safety.
Most people who drown are within 15 metres of safety. The simple
act of wearing a lifejacket can save your life by buying you
precious time until someone can rescue you.
PFDs come in all kinds of styles and colours, including
inflatable jackets, so you can be comfortable, stylish and
What you need to know when selecting a lifejacket or PFD: For
adults, children and infants. Educate yourself on PFDs and
The Lifesaving Society strongly advocates that lifejackets/PFDs
should be worn by all occupants and passengers of all types of
recreational craft six metres or less in length while passengers
are on-deck and while the vessel is underway.
Learn to Swim
Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any
meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The Lifesaving
Society offers training programs from learn-to-swim through advanced lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.
Our Swim for
Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop
solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water
Smart® education that will last a lifetime.
Survive is a Lifesaving Society survival training program. Swim
to Survive is not a subsititute for swimming lessons; instead, it defines the
minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep
water. People of all ages should be able to perform the Society's
Swim to Survive standard.