National Drowning Prevention week is in full swing as summer vacations are set to begin for many Canadians.
Hawkins stated that eight out of 10 drownings happen after a boater who has fallen overboard is either not wearing a life-jacket or wearing it improperly.
When purchasing a PFD or lifejacket, Hawkins recommends you buy a well-fitting life-jacket for you and your child. A PFD or life-jacket is not considered a substitute for adult supervision when it comes to children.
Secondly, ensure weather conditions — including precipitation and wind — are suitable for boating.
Always check ahead, by at least a few hours, for upcoming weather conditions using resources such as weather.gc.ca or weather.gc.ca/marine and ensure that you have enough time to get off the water before any dangerous weather conditions develop.
WATCH: Association Maritime du Québec executive director Alain Roy joins Global’s Kim Sullivan to talk about recreational boating.
Over 12 million Canadians, including 43 per cent of Quebecers, will use a boat at some point during the summer for purposes ranging from work to recreation.
And when it comes to alcohol, the same laws apply to operating a boat as driving a car under the Canadian Criminal Code.
“And as a parent, you have to supervise your kids all the time.”
Always ensure at least one other person is supervising from the safety of the shore or swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard on duty.