Most boating accidents can be prevented

With the May long weekend approaching, many people are looking forward to spending some time on a boat.

With the May long weekend approaching, many people are looking forward to spending some time on a boat.

Unfortunately, studies by the Office of Boating Safety reveal many accidents that happen on the water could easily be prevented by boaters being more prepared and better equipped.

A 2010 report noted  where the most frequent injuries involve capsizing and falling overboard, non-swimmers and weak swimmers continue to boat without a floatation device and drown as a result.

Not wearing a life-jacket is not the only safety concern when it comes to those who boat recreationally.

A Canadian Red Cross study found that 37 per cent of boaters in Canada drink every time they boat, while 66 per cent admitted to partaking sometimes.

To ensure safety on the water this May long weekend, police will be checking for life-jackets, impaired boaters and other factors such as proper preparation, boater cards for operators, a safe number of occupants on the vessel, and safe operation.

For more information or to watch a Drinking and Boating Test video, please visit www.SmartBoater.ca.