Out on the water this long weekend? Here are some tips on how you can stay safe

·2 min read
The most important thing you can do to prepare for a boat ride during the long weekend? Wear a life jacket, according to Barry Fordham. (CBC - image credit)
The most important thing you can do to prepare for a boat ride during the long weekend? Wear a life jacket, according to Barry Fordham. (CBC - image credit)
The most important thing you can do to prepare for a boat ride during the long weekend? Wear a life jacket, according to Barry Fordham.
The most important thing you can do to prepare for a boat ride during the long weekend? Wear a life jacket, according to Barry Fordham.(CBC)

Heading out on the water can be a great way to spend an afternoon on the Victoria Day weekend, but a group focused on saving lives wants to help make sure it can be a safe trip.

"If you're getting ready this weekend for your boating excursion, make sure that your boat, the engine, the equipment, safety equipment is all in working order," Barry Fordham, vice president of public education with the province's Lifesaving Society said Friday.

On top of gear being in working order, Fordham said it's also important that operators and passengers be prepared themselves. This year's long weekend celebrations fall during National Safe Boating Awareness Week, with Fordham acknowledging the province's history of tragedy on the water.

Before setting sail, Fordham said it's important for operators to keep their pleasure craft licences on them at all times. People should also keep an eye on the weather beforehand, along with monitoring during their trip to make sure they're operating in the safest conditions.

He added that alcohol shouldn't serve as a replacement for thirst quenchers like water, and that it should only be enjoyed once everything is tied up back at the dock.

But most importantly, Fordham stressed the importance of wearing a life jacket on board the boat at all times.

"Nobody has ever drowned wearing a life jacket inside the boat before," he said.

"If the boat capsizes or you fall out of the boat into some kind of weather or wind conditions … the chance of you getting that life jacket and putting it on before time runs out might be a lot less."

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