August 1, 2014 8:11 pm

WATCH: Safe boating saves lives: spreading the message across Canada

KELOWNA – You couldn’t ask for a better weekend on the water. The busy August long weekend is here and boaters are already taking over Okanagan Lake.

While we’re all out to have a good time, it only takes an instant for an accident.

“It’s about making common sense decisions,” says BOATsmart president, Cam Taylor, “wearing lifejackets and not consuming alcohol while you’re out on the water.”

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BOATsmart is Canada’s leading provider for boating licenses and ambassadors are taking the summer to cruise across Canada with a message of safety, along with encouraging education, as having a boating license is the law.

According to Taylor, the majority of boat related drowning happens to people not wearing a lifejacket and alcohol plays a factor in 39 per cent of boating accidents.

“Unfortunately in B.C. on average there are 21 fatalities in boating each year and most are preventable with 79 per cent of people drowning from boats typically not wearing lifejackets or PFD’s (personal floatation devices). They would be alive today if they were wearing those.”

While it’s not mandatory to wear it, it is the law the to have a proper PFD for every passenger on board and according to Kelowna RCMP that’s one of the biggest infractions they see on the water.

Along with spreading the message of safety, the BOATsmart team is also looking to share your fun boating experiences and it all goes to a good cause.

Ambassadors are asking you take a picture while boating and post it on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #boatsmartmoments. For every hashtagged picture, BOATsmart will donate a dollar to a local kids camp, with all the profits from B.C. going to Camp Goodtimes.

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