June 26th, 2017 — Toronto, ON, — July 1st – 9th marks National Fishing Week in Canada. The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) want to remind anglers that wearing your lifejacket is even more important than wearing your ‘lucky fishing hat’. But they do share one trait. They both have to be worn to be effective!
Many of those who don’t wear their lifejackets or PFDs believe that, since they are good swimmers, having them onboard and within easy reach is good enough. But a lifejacket stored under a seat or up in the bow will be of no help should the unexpected happen, like falling overboard while trying to net the catch.
“National surveys clearly show that more than half the recreational boats sold in Canada are used for fishing on a regular basis,” says John Gullick, Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “During National Fishing Week, the Canadian Safe Boating Council would like to remind all anglers not only to have their lifejacket onboard their boat, but to look after it and wear it. If you happen to fall overboard, it will give you the time you need to calm down, catch your breath, assess your situation and effect, or help effect, a rescue. In 2 out of 3 drownings related to boating, the victims were less than 15 meters from some form of safety.”
Many of today’s anglers are delighted with the models that are designed especially to suit their needs. They’re rugged, allow for full freedom of movement to cast and are constructed with lots of pockets for gear. Some even come equipped with an attachment from which to hang a landing net. When choosing their lifejacket, anglers should also check the label to make sure it is Transport Canada approved, is the correct size and fits snugly.
“Ontario offers so much in the way of wonderful fishing opportunities, helping to create lifelong memories for people of all ages. But remember, when you’re out wetting a line this summer, you have to think safety first,” said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. “Whether you’re out in a boat enjoying the open water, or perched along a shoreline looking for the big catch, prioritize your safety, and the safety of those around you, by wearing a lifejacket and encouraging others to do the same.”
At this important time of year, the CSBC and OFAH are asking those who fish to ‘Get Hooked on Lifejackets’.
This initiative is made possible through support of Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.