Drowning statistics consistently show that 80% of victims in boating-related drownings were not wearing a lifejacket/PFD. Wearing a lifejacket or PFD is the most effective way to reduce boating-related drownings in Canada.
Many boaters feel false security because they are strong swimmers or because there is a lifejacket within reach. But trying to put a lifejacket on before you capsize, or while in the water, is like trying to buckle your seatbelt right before your car crashes - it's impossible. Anxiety, wave-action, weeds, clothing and especially cold water are all working against your ability to swim to safety.
Most people who drown are within 15 metres of safety. The simple act of wearing a lifejacket can save your life by buying you precious time until someone can rescue you.
PFDs come in all kinds of styles and colours, including inflatable jackets, so you can be comfortable, stylish and safe.
What you need to know when selecting a lifejacket or PFD: For adults, children and infants. Educate yourself on PFDs and inflatable lifejackets.
The Lifesaving Society strongly advocates that lifejackets/PFDs should be worn by all occupants and passengers of all types of recreational craft six metres or less in length while passengers are on-deck and while the vessel is underway.
Learn more about hosting a Lifejacket Clinic at your facility or in your community.
Learn to Swim
Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The Lifesaving Society offers training programs from learn-to-swim through advanced lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.
Our Swim for Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water Smart® education that will last a lifetime.
Swim to Survive is a Lifesaving Society survival training program. Swim to Survive is not a subsititute for swimming lessons; instead, it defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. People of all ages should be able to perform the Society's Swim to Survive standard.