Be Safe this Victoria Weekend by Following these Five Tips

maple leaf with the words Happy Victoria Day

1. Don’t Drink and Drive
The same rules which govern drinking and driving also apply to driving and boating. So, although having a beer during a shore lunch might be refreshing, that six-pack cannot be accessible to the driver of a boat during the trip. As well, there are strict rules around drinking onboard. The only way that you can have alcohol is if you have sleeping quarters, washroom or cooking facilities on your vessel, and it also has to be anchored or tied.

2. Wear your Life-Jacket
Always wear a life-jacket, even if you know how to swim! Every year hundreds of Canadians drown while boating. Most of them never intended to be in the water, they were just enjoying their boating activity. Most of them, over 87%, are not wearing a lifejacket (or did not have it done up properly) when they drown. Make sure to test your life-jackets in shallow water, and ensure there’s no wear and tear, and if there is some damage on them, replace them.

3. Wear a Helmet
OPP figures show that 267 motorcyclists and 167 off-road vehicle (ORV) drivers were killed in collisions from 2006 – 2015. The vast majority of ORV deaths involved a person being ejected from the vehicle, and in 74 of those fatalities, the rider was found without a helmet. Provincial police are stressing the rules around helmets on motorcycles, and any kind of off-road vehicle. Passengers and drivers need to wear an approved motorcycle helmet, and ensure that it is securely fastened with a chin strap.

4. Plan Ahead
When things go wrong, on the water or in the bush, it can happen quickly and you don’t always have time to react. Always have a plan, and let you family, a friend, or at least someone know where you will be going, and when you plan to be back. This information is helpful for the police if they need to start a search.

5. Be Prepared
Weather can change, or roads can be closed, so it’s best to be prepared. Carry any safety equipment, a first aid kit, and extra food and water, in case you get stranded.

Alex, C. (20 May, 2016). 5 tips for staying safe on the road and the water this long weekend. CBC News.

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