Be pre­pared

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

With the ar­rival of sum­mer, thou­sands of peo­ple will con­tinue to be out on the wa­ter. While no one ever plans to have a deadly ac­ci­dent, in past years more than 100 peo­ple have died an­nu­ally in Cana­dian waters. Sta­tis­tics show that fa­tal­i­ties hap­pen in all ves­sels — from ca­noes to small power boats to kayaks to large mo­tor yachts. Any recre­ational boat­ing on small warm lakes, busy rivers and the open ocean re­quire the same at­ten­tion to safety. Now is the time to think about the sim­ple things you can do to keep your fam­ily and friends safe on the wa­ter. Life­jack­ets save lives Much of Canada’s wa­ter is cold year-round, so al­ways wear a life­jacket while boat­ing. Cold wa­ter shock can quickly par­a­lyze your arms and legs. If you are not wear­ing a life­jacket and fall into cold wa­ter, it will be very dif­fi­cult to put one on, and you could drown just inches away from your boat. Cana­dian law re­quires boat op­er­a­tors to carry an ap­proved life­jacket of the proper size, for each per­son on board. This means adult sizes for adults and ap­pro­pri­ate vests for chil­dren. Wear them! To­day’s life­jack­ets are com­fort­able, slim-fit­ting, and even stylish. Any­thing can hap­pen on the wa­ter and there may not be any­one around to help. That is why be­fore you leave shore you should be sure to: •in­spect all of your equip­ment; • make sure you have the gear re­quired for your

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