Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross

May 15, 2008 06:00 ET

Red Cross Urges Boaters to Wear Lifejackets This Summer

Thursday, May 15th is National Lifejacket Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - According to the Canadian Red Cross, the fatal mistake people make when considering whether or not to wear a lifejacket is the belief that they will be able to pull it on in an emergency. Trying to do up a lifejacket when something goes wrong in a boat is like trying to put on your seatbelt in the split second before your car crashes.

93% of those who drown while boating are male and young men between 15 and 35 are at highest risk for drowning. Every year, 200 Canadians drown while boating. Of those who drown, 90% are not properly wearing their lifejacket. Red Cross is encouraging all boaters, of all skill levels, to wear their lifejackets in the boat. And remember to be a good role model for young boaters - don't just make kids wear lifejackets, wear your lifejacket too.

"What people don't realize is that in the seconds when a lifejacket can save their life-when they really need it-they won't be able to put it on," says Michele Mercier, National Manager of Injury Prevention. "At that point, the lifejacket may have fallen in the water outside of their reach, or they may be unconscious or drowning."

People offer many other excuses for not wearing lifejackets from it's too nice out, it doesn't fit, to "I'm a good swimmer." Using your lifejacket as a seat cushion, or stowing it away, won't save you if something goes wrong. Before you step foot in your boat this summer, Red Cross urges Canadians to drop the excuses and make sure that everyone in the family is zipped and clipped into their lifejacket.

To make wearing your lifejacket even easier, Mustang Survival, makers of lifejackets and a partner in water safety with Red Cross, is offering lifejacket prizes. Go to and enter to win one of 10 family packs of lifejackets, or the grand prize of two adult inflatables.

"Today's lifejackets are comfortable and stylish," says Michele Mercier. "And with inflatables now an option, wearing a lifejacket every trip, for the whole trip, is even easier."

Canadian Red Cross has been helping to keep Canadians safe in, on and around water since 1946. For more information about the Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program, visit

Contact Information

  • Canadian Red Cross
    Heather Badenoch
    Senior Public Affairs Advisor