As the unofficial start of the summer season arrives in a few days with the May 2-4 weekend, Power Boating Canada reminds all of our visitors and readers that the while the air temperature maybe warm and the sky maybe sunny, the water is still very cold.

Courtesy of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, here are some Cold Water Facts and Survival Tips:

On average 60% of Canadian boaters who drowned did so in water fewer than 10 degrees C. and 34% in water between 10 and 20 degrees Celcius. Canadian waters are cold much of the year. The immediate effects of cold water immersion (as opposed to hypothermia) are becoming better understood and when they are, the acceptance of lifejacket wear increases. The materials contained here will help in cold water education and outreach with a goal to get more boaters into lifejackets and reduce needless drownings.

5 Key Steps to Safer Boating

safe key 1

Wear Your Lifejacket

Legally you must carry one on board, appropriately sized for each passenger. But don’t just carry it, WEAR IT.

safe key 2

Don’t Drink and Boat

Boating under the influence is not just illegal; it’s irresponsible. Wait until you get back to the pier to have that beer.

safe key 3

Take a Boating Course

The law now requires that anyone driving a motorized boat must have a pleasure-craft operator card. It’s for your own safety and that of your passengers. Don’t get caught without one. Take a course and get your license!

safe key 4

Be Prepared

Ensure your boat has all the required safety gear and sufficient fuel. Be sure the weather is suitable for your vessel’s capabilities.

safe key 5

Beware of Cold Water Risks

Cold water is a significant risk. Learn how to protect yourself.

For more information visit

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Brad grew up at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe using both powerboats and sailboats. A veteran journalist with large national daily newspapers, outdoor interest magazines, and syndicated television shows, Brad has entertained and educated readers for over 20 years with his unique family-inclusive perspective. His favorite pastime is teaching others to use their boats to access the freedom and beauty of a Life Afloat. Brad, his wife, and three teenage daughters have traveled all over North America, but choose to keep their floating home on the fresh waters of Central Ontario.