Red Cross urges life-jackets for all ahead of food fishery

The Red Cross is reminding everyone to put on a life-jacket before heading out on the water this weekend.

75 per cent of N.L. drowning victims were not wearing personal flotation devices

Danika Crossman says personal flotation devices can be loaned from the Red Cross for up to two weeks. (CBC)

The Red Cross is reminding everyone to put on a life-jacket before heading out on the water this weekend.

The recreational food fishery opens Saturday in the province, and already this month two people have drowned while swimming outdoors.

Danika Crossman, a boating safety supervisor with the Red Cross, says people who don't own life-jackets can borrow them from the organization.

“One thing we have with the Red Cross across Atlantic Canada is we have a PFD, personal flotation device, loan program,” Crossman said.

“So all across Atlantic Canada, where we unfortunately have the highest rates of drowning, people can go to any of our Red Cross offices and loan out PFDs or life-jackets, for free, for up to two weeks.”

The latest numbers show that 75 per cent of drowning victims in this province were not wearing life-jackets.