Representatives from Canada’s top provider of pleasure craft operator cards were in Kelowna Friday, educating boaters on how to keep their vessels safe this summer.
BOATsmart president Cameron Taylor said the Kelowna stop was timely, considering the popularity of getting out on the water over the long weekend.
“We’re talking to people in Kelowna about boating safety and what they need to think about leading into the long weekend,” said Taylor.
“Things like making sure they’re always wearing a lifejacket or PFD (and that) they’re not consuming alcohol while on the boat.”
Taylor said a common issue is overconfidence by those who believe they don’t need a lifejacket because they are strong swimmers.
“Many boaters don’t realize that more than 79 per cent of people who drown from boats each year would be alive today had they simply made the choice to wear a PFD or a lifejacket.
“It’s kind of like the seatbelt in your car: (It) won’t work unless you wear it.”
The BOATsmart tour, which is travelling from St. John’s to Tofino, is also raising money for camps for disadvantaged youth.
“We’re working with a camp in British Columbia called Camp Goodtimes.
“We’re asking Canadians to share their favourite boating moments…with the hashtag #BoatSmartMoment on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”
For every photos shared, BOATsmart will make a $1 donation to local kids camps, with a $10,000 fundraising goal.
To take the BOATsmart course, visit boatsmartexam.com