Safety should always be a prime consideration when venturing out onto B.C.'s waters, says Dale Miller, executive director, B.C. and Yukon branch of the Lifesaving Society.
Miller told CBC that the tragic boating accident at Slocan Lake over the weekend was an early reminder to everyone to put safety at top of mind when boating.
"Last year was a bad year for drownings in B.C. — we had 70, " he told CBC. "That was higher than the previous few years and, unfortunately, this [latest accident] is an early reminder."
If you capsize, your survival works on a 1:10:1 principle, Miller explains:
- one minute to calm down, stop gasping for air and check your situation
- 10 minutes before your muscles start to become ineffective
- one hour to get out of the water before loss of consciousness sets in
Safe Boating Awareness Week launches May 17, and the Lifesaving Society hopes to get the message out on how to stay safe on the water. Miller advises the following precautions:
- Assume you may find yourself in the water and be prepared
- Take lifejackets and wear them — they are hard to put on once in the water
- Carry a heaving line to help pull someone in
- Stay close to shore