CSBC Newsletter                             April 2016
Message from the Chair
I have just returned from the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in San Diego, California, where Stephanie Rankine and I gave a 1 hour presentation on the CSBC and our current activities. Barbara Byers also gave a brief summary of our research activities.

The event was held from Sunday March 6 until Wednesday March 9, and I also attended the National Safe Boating Council Board meeting held on Saturday March 5. The Chair of the CSBC sits on the NSBC Board as an ex-officio member.

The IBWSS has been going on now for 20 years and the last time I attended was about 8 years ago. At that time there were almost 350 delegates, of which about 25 were from Canada. This year there were just under 200 delegates, of which 7 were from Canada.
The annual IBWSS has been co-sponsored by the National Water Safety Congress and the National Safe Boating Council. This year they have been joined by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, NASBLA.  They have all identified the need to take a good look at the Summit, its agenda and location, with the view in mind to explore new directions. I will be very interested to see how this unfolds over the next few years. I don't expect much change for next year, because the location and dates have already been set but look for change in 2018.

In preparing for my presentation at the Summit it really struck me how much we who are involved with the CSBC do every year, year after year, with so little in the way of resources. The work of our Directors and committee members is really to be congratulated over and over. The quality of our work is exceptional as is the extent of it. When I look at the actual dollar value of what we accomplish vs. what we actually pay for and the mind-boggling extent of our media reach and number of hits each year that is now reaching the 125 million mark, a jump of over 20 million from last year, I can't help but be proud to be a part of the CSBC.

CONGRATULATIONS to all who serve and support. Together we do make a difference every day.

John Gullick

CSBC Needs Your Support!

Join us! Renew your CSBC membership now at www.csbc.ca. Organizational and individual memberships are available, and as the CSBC is a Canadian registered charity, your membership fees are tax deductible. We have been able to obtain government funding contributions towards our boating safety projects, but we receive no government funding to run the organization. This means that we rely upon your financial support to keep making a difference to boating safety in Canada. The CSBC is run by volunteers, so our administrative costs are very low. If you don't want to become a member, but would like to become a CSBC sponsor, or make a donation, you can do that too at  www.csbc.ca. Together, we're making a difference! 
Canadian Safe Boating Campaign 2016 

Safe Boating Awareness Week (SBAW) is scheduled for May 21 to May 27, with four launches planned.  Three launches will occur on May 19:Toronto, Winnipeg and Halifax, and the Vancouver launch will occur on Saturday May 21. 

Toronto and Vancouver are featuring significant on-water activities, complete with demonstrations and plenty of interactive opportunities for the media to become involved to help them report on safe boating practices.   Halifax's launch will feature an entire suite of paddle craft safety activities on Lake Banook. The launch in Winnipeg will be held at The Forks, with an entire mix of safe boating partners. In addition to the four planned launches, the CSBC will also be working with the Quebec Safe Boating Council to provide materials and support for their Safe Boating Week launch.

Beyond Safe Boating Awareness Week,  the CSBC will continue with our other media-focused safety campaigns in 2016. They include Hooked on Lifejackets (July 2 to 10), Operation Dry Water (July 30 to August 1) and Stretching the Season (Sept 24 and 25).  Plus, this year the CSBC will launch a new media safety campaign for the beginning of boating season, focusing on Cold Water Awareness! 

We encourage all CSBC members and friends to help out in your local area.  Contact information for each SBAW event and more details on each are available at www.csbc.ca.

Speaking of the CSBC website, we encourage all members to pay a quick visit and check out the new look for the campaign pages. In addition to the brand new pages, each event will be sporting a new logo and a new look. This is just the 'e-start' of great new things to come!  Social media outreach work is underway to support all the campaigns throughout the entire summer. This will continue to place CSBC and our partners at the forefront of safe boating awareness activities in Canada with the media, stakeholders and public. 
Cold Water Workshops 2016

The CSBC will be holding four cold water instructor courses in 2016. The courses will qualify those who are currently involved in marine rescue and response to teach first responders to properly deal with hypothermic victims. Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, (aka Professor Popsicle), Professor of Thermophysiology at the University of Manitoba, will take the instructors/students through a two day program to provide them with the information and knowledge necessary to help first responders understand this important issue, and to better prepare them to deal with hypothermic victims. Course materials, including an instructor's handbook and Powerpoint presentation to be used for subsequent Cold Water Workshops, are included. Cost is $400 for the two day course and includes an instructor's manual, copy of Gordon Giesbrecht's book, lunches and breaks.

While some of the dates are still to be finalized, Cold Water Instructor Workshops will be held in Winnipeg (June), Kelowna (June), Halifax (July) and Yellowknife (September, following the CSBC Symposium).  Finalized dates will be posted on the CSBC website. This is also where interested parties can register.
The Lifejacket: a Great Mystery to French Boaters?
By CSBC Special Correspondent Pierre Brugnon, Chargé de mission: Prévention, Societé nationale de sauvetage en mer (SNSM) (National Marine Rescue Society), France

In 2011, we at France's National Marine Rescue Society asked a polling organization to conduct a survey on lifejacket wear. Half of the boaters answered that they systematically wore a lifejacket. Main reasons brought up for not wearing one included "it's not comfortable", "out of habit", "don't see the use". Such answers struck us as rather optimistic... Were these people telling us the truth? We therefore decided to clear up the matter by carrying out a one-day manual count along the entire coast every year, segmenting adults/children, by boat type and size.

Our doubts unfortunately proved to be right. In July 2013, along the entire French coast where the weather was particularly fine, our count showed that 11.5% of adults were wearing a lifejacket, and only 54% of children. In 2014, we ordered a new survey: 39% of the boaters answered that they systematically wore a lifejacket, and 22% that they did so often. Shortly afterwards, when we carried out our count on a day on which the weather was bad, lifejacket-wear percentages were respectively 18% and 60%. In July 2015, it was 12% and 49%. Also, the further one sails in the South of France, on the Mediterranean, the less lifejackets are worn, and the further north one sails, the more they are worn. It's a far cry from what we had been told... In view of these observations, the SNSM decided to launch several initiatives.

1) We signed on to the Lifejacket Wear Principles Agreement*, as a founding member. We invite you to sign on as well, at www.lifejacketwear.com.

2) We initiated the lifejacket-wear campaign "Without it, I wouldn't be here today."  This campaign was awarded First Prize among the 2013 solidarity campaigns (i.e. boating safety campaigns carried out by associations and NGOs), and has been passed on by most organizations having to do with the sea and safety at sea.

3) Based on the model used by the UK's RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), we created a lifejacket workshop whereby we invite boaters to come and see us with their own lifejacket to become acquainted with it. In fact, we had observed that boaters would buy lifejackets without knowing what's inside them or how to maintain them. We explain the principles of buoyancy, the types of lifejackets, how to maintain them, and then we get the boaters to activate their inflatable lifejackets so that they can realize what will happen should they fall into the water one day. This saves them additional stress, at a time they don't need any more stress.

4) We have developed a courtesy visits program, aimed at checking safety equipment on boats and educating boaters.In numerous cases, we have seen lifejackets that would not have functioned upon falling overboard.

Everything we are seeing reinforces our objective of educating boaters on the necessity of wearing a lifejacket, of maintaining it adequately, and of getting children to systematically wear one.

*Editor's note: The SNSM and the RNLI, along with the Australian Recreational Boating Safety Committee, the CSBC and Maritime New Zealand, were founding signatories to the 2013 International Lifejacket Wear Principles Agreement, aimed at international collaboration in promoting lifejacket wear. Find out more at www.csbc.ca, and go to www.lifejacketwear.com to sign up your organization!   

Taking Lifejackets to the People in New South Wales
By CSBC Special Correspondent Neil Patchett, Manager - Maritime Program, Transport for New South Wales, Australia

Katie Spithill and crew fly their Wear a Lifejacket gennaker in fleet racing past the Sydney Opera House
The State Government of New South Wales, Australia, is in its third season of an innovative promotion called 'Old4New' which is helping to deliver a significant increase in the wearing of lifejackets in small craft.

The 2013/14 boating season saw the best boating safety result in over 20 years and this year the long-term trend in recreational boating fatalities continues to show a steady decline. Furthermore, an observational study of the 2014/15 season revealed 41 per cent of people on the water are now wearing lifejackets in NSW, which is more than 300 per cent up on the rate recorded in 2007.

The maritime team at Transport for NSW developed the Old4New program as part of an evidence-based strategy to prevent death by drowning following analysis of boating incidents. This work reaffirmed the fact men aged 35-55+, in small craft, are frequently involved in fatalities and that nine out of 10 people who drown when boating weren't wearing a lifejacket.

The research also showed the target demographic are reluctant to wear a lifejacket for a variety of reasons including the perception they are all just big, bulky and ... unattractive to wear. This is tragic because many fatalities are preventable and modern lifejackets have moved a long way from the old Mae West styles that made you look like you had a pillow strapped to your chest and another behind your head.

To break down this negative perception and provide people with convenient access to information and products, Transport for NSW decided to create a mobile 'pop up' store showcasing and selling modern, comfortable and wearable lifejackets to the public at boat ramps, local events and town centres across the State.

The Old4New program was established following open tenders for: the delivery of the mobile vehicle project; and for the supply of modern lifejackets to criteria that included wearability and ease of service.

A key element of the program is the incentive to upgrade by allowing the public to trade in damaged or old-style lifejackets for new ones at a 50% discount off the recommended retail price. This price incentive, when combined with the convenience of literally taking lifejackets to the public, resulted in strong (somewhat overwhelming at times) interest and attendance figures.

The public engagement however was central to the initiative because the mobile promotion allowed the Old4New team to talk to people about the importance of wearing and the need to care for and service inflatable lifejackets. So before every sale, the team explain the benefits of the particular lifejacket and talk about care and service.
The Old4New van is now in its third season and has visited over 330 sites across the State and sold over 15,000 modern lifejackets.

Transport for NSW is delighted to be building partnerships in safety as a result of Old4New. In NSW, organisations such as Marine Rescue, Fisheries and Royal Life Saving Society have joined Old4New at a number of locations with their own safety information kiosks to create mini safety events for the public.

Coastguard Northern Region in New Zealand has also jumped on board and is currently running season two of the Old4New program. Transport for NSW provided the campaign materials and strategies at no cost, and Coast Guard were able to run the program from early November to the end of January. The State authorities in Western Australia and Queensland have also expressed interest in replicating the program.

The campaign includes a renewed push to build even better partnerships with the marine industry through a Retail Partner Program. This program has seen more than 60 retail outlets statewide join the effort to promote the wearing of modern, comfortable lifejackets. Participating retailers have made an extra commitment to promote modern lifejackets with some outlets even offering the most modern, slimline styles as part of the sales package when people choose to buy a boat.

Through this partnership, participating retailers have access to a range of boating safety education material to help in-store promotions. This can range from simple flyers to interactive touch screen kiosks which have been installed at a number of retail outlets to help customers find a modern lifejacket to suit their activity, age and body shape.
The retailer network is helping drive word-of-mouth communications about modern lifejackets and is contributing to the continuing push to promote increased lifejacket wear rates.

So lifejacket standards are getting better, manufacturers are making better product and there are now excellent lifejackets styles to suit just about every activity and every body. The public are also demonstrating a readiness to shift behaviour.

Our collective challenge is to break through that tipping point where lifejacket wear becomes normalised, where lifejackets are considered part of your personal kit when going boating. Just like how we apply sunscreen by habit. The public understand the message, that such decisions mean there is one less thing to worry about and you can simply enjoy the great outdoors. 

More information is available at http://maritimemanagement.transport.nsw.gov.au/
New Free On-line Paddle Safety Course Launched
Robert Dupel and Mike Dean of BOATERexam.com are CSBC Directors. This article is one of an occasional series highlighting the CSBC Directors' involvement in boating safety.

BOATERexam.com has used its leading online learning technology to build an online paddle safety course, PADDLEcourse.com, and is offering it for free. Launched last year, and the first and only online course of its kind, PADDLEcourse.com is a 7-chapter online course that teaches the basics of canoe and kayak safety, and addresses a wide range of boating safety situations, from lifejackets to cold water immersion to filing a float plan.
The course is:
  • Free for all users
  • Easy to use and appealing for all ages
  • Available in English and French
  • Sanctioned by the U.S. National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. 
Check it out at www.paddlecourse.com!
Keep Your Eyes Open for This Year's CASBA Nominees

As you're out and about on the water this season, keep your eyes open for those potential Canadian Safe Boating Award winners and get your nominations in early and often. Nominations close in the late fall, and the awards ceremony will be held in Toronto on January 22, 2017. Categories include Stearns Best Boating Safety Initiative, Ontario Power Generation Rescue of the Year, Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety, and many others. Go to http://csbc.ca/en/events/casbas/award-categories to learn more. 
CSBC Goes North for 2016 Symposium

For the first time ever, the CSBC is taking the annual Symposium to Yellowknife this year! Join us from September 22 - 24, 2016 at the Explorer Hotel, and participate in a full program of presentations and discussions about the special challenges of boating safety in the North. Registration and hotel bookings are now open. Go to
www.csbc.ca for details.
AGM Reminder Notice to all CSBC Members

The Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Safe Boating Council will take place on May 26, 2016 at 1300, at the Toronto Airport West Hotel, 5444 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, Ontario.  It is open to all CSBC members. The meeting will cover a number of subjects including a report on activities accomplished in 2015 and the election of officers.  Come and spend an hour or so to learn of the great progress we have made in promoting safe boating and renew acquaintances with others like yourself who support our goals.
In brief

The Canadian Safe Boating Council placed second in the Video PSAs category in the International Boating and Water Safety Summit 2016 Media Awards, presented at the Summit in San Diego in April, for our Boating under the Influence PSA. Congratulations to Barbara Byers, Ted Rankine, and the Playsafe Productions team for your great work!

The spring 2016 National CMAC meeting will take place at the Shaw Centre located at 55 Colonel By Drive in Ottawa.  The meeting will commence with Opening Plenary at 9:30 am on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 and conclude at 4:30 pm on Thursday, April 21, 2016. For more information: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/rsqa-cmac-menu-826.htm

Lifejacket wear is up in New Zealand! Maritime New Zealand has released new research into recreational boating behaviour that shows that in 2015, 78 per cent of recreational boaters reported wearing a lifejacket the entire time they were on the water. This is up from 67 per cent in 2014, and 62 per cent in 2013. For more details, go to
Transport for New South Wales has released its Boating Incidents in NSW report for 2014-2015. Among the findings:
  • Total incident rates, both for recreational vessels and commercial vessels, continue to fall
  • Nine out of the 11 people who were presumed to have drowned in recreational boating incidents were not wearing a lifejacket at the time of the incident
  • Nine of the fatal incidents (64.3%) involved a vessel less than six metres in length, and all 15 victims (100%) were male.