Monday, 02 October 2006 19:41

10 Years of Research: Fast Facts - Lifejackets and PFD's

Child in KayakIn a landmark 10-year study, the Canadian Red Cross, together with its partners, has compiled critical information on drownings in Canada. One of the key factors identified in boating-related drowning deaths in Canada is not wearing a PFD or lifejacket.

What we have learned
  • The main cause of boating drowning death (87%) is not properly wearing a lifejacket or PFD.
  • You should always wear a lifejacket or PFD. Close by isn’t close enough.

The Facts
  • On average, there are 180 boating drowning deaths each year in Canada
  • Of those who drown, 87% are not wearing, or are not properly wearing, a PFD or lifejacket.
  • In a 10 year span, over 1,000 people (60%) drowned while powerboating and almost 700 (40%) while unpowered boating (canoe, kayak, sail boat, raft)
  • 93 % of those who drown while boating are male.
  • Men between the ages of 15 and 45 years old are at greatest risk for drowning.

Based on known cases:

CANOE
88% of canoe drowning victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.

KAYAK
67% of kayak victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.

RAFT
55% of rafting and inflatable watercraft drowning victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.

ROWBOAT
94% of rowboat drowning victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.

SAILBOAT
70% of sailboat drowning victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.

POWERBOAT
88% of powerboat drowning victims are not wearing, or not properly wearing, a flotation device.
Prepare! Stay Safe! And Survive!

When aboard any water craft, make sure you and all passengers are wearing a properly fitted and Transport Canada approved PFD or lifejacket – it could save your life.

For more information on lifejackets and PFDs, please visit: www.redcross.ca lifejackets or www.wearalifejacket.com.
David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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