April 2024


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In this issue

  • Message from the Chair
  • AGM Notice
  • Safe Boating Awareness Week 2024
  • Whistler Symposium: Registration Now Open!
  • NEW In-Person Cold Water Workshops
  • CSBC Membership Reminder
  • One Sailor Goes to the Dark Side
  • Navigable Waters Act Review
  • Changes to National CMAC Meetings
  • New TV Series: Garde côtière
  • In Brief 

Message from the Chair

As the snow melts away and the sun starts to warm up our shores, it’s time to dust off those life jackets, polish those hulls, and get ready to hit the water once again. Welcome to Spring in Canada and the kickoff to another exciting boating season!

I hope this message finds you all in high spirits, eager to embark on new adventures and create unforgettable memories out on the waves. There’s something truly magical about being out on the water, whether you’re fishing with friends, cruising with family, or simply enjoying the serenity of nature.

But amidst all the excitement, let’s not forget the 5 golden rules of boating: Wear Your Lifejacket, Boat Sober, Take a Boating Course, Be Prepared – You and Your Vessel and Be Cold Water Safe. As Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, it’s my duty to remind each and every one of you to prioritize safety every time you set sail. Remember, a fun day on the water is only truly enjoyable when everyone returns home safely.

Fortunately, we have a treasure trove of resources available at our fingertips to help us navigate safely through the season. Our website, www.csbc.ca is packed with invaluable resources and boating safety apps. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a novice captain, there’s something for everyone to learn and benefit from.

So before you cast off, take a moment to review our safety messaging and ensure that your vessel is equipped with all the necessary safety gear. By taking these simple steps, we can all play a part in making our waterways safer for everyone.

As we embark on this new boating season, let’s do so with a sense of excitement, responsibility, and camaraderie. Together, we can ensure that each voyage is filled with joy, adventure, and, most importantly, safety.

All the best,

Mike Dean

AGM Notice to all CSBC Members

In accordance with the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Section 159.4), the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in-person on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 1:00 P.M at the Courtyard Toronto Airport Hotel, 231 Carlingview Drive, Toronto ON . For those who have attended in the past, this is the same hotel that we used last year. A bus shuttle to the hotel from the Pearson airport is available.

The meeting is open to all interested persons, but voting will be restricted to current CSBC members.

The meeting will cover a number of subjects, including a report on the CSBC's current programs and the election of the Board of Directors and Officers for 2024/25. Come and spend an hour or so with us to hear about the great progress that we have made in promoting boating safety and to renew acquaintances with others like yourself who support our goals.

Please note this is an in-person event only.


Dated in Ottawa, Ontario, this 12th day of April, 2024.

Ron Kroeker

CSBC Secretary

Safe Boating Awareness Week May 18 – 24, 2024

As in 2023, Safe Boating Awareness Week (SBAW) 2024 will capitalize on social media opportunities to effectively reach out to all boaters across Canada and provide materials to partner stakeholders for in-person participation at local levels. The CSBC’s national media launch will be on May 16.

Our key boating safety messages continue to be:

  • Wear Your Lifejacket
  • Boat Sober
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared—You and Your Vessel
  • Be Cold Water Safe

Our SBAW approach is partnership-focused, supporting CSBC’s members, boating safety agencies, associations and individuals who want to conduct their own activities.

Go the CSBC website to learn more and access resources to support your own Safe Boating Awareness Week activities. Safe Boating Awareness Week (csbc.ca)

Regional SBAW activities we are aware of include :

Vancouver Contact: CSBC Director Jason Krott, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority at jason.krott@portvancouver.com or CSBC Director Lawrence Jacobs at thejacobs@telus.net

Prairies Contact: Lorne Edwards, Lifesaving Society at lorne.edwards@lifesaving.mb.ca

Toronto Contact: CSBC Director Dave Moffatt, Ontario Provincial Police at David.moffatt@opp.ca or Stacy Kellough, Toronto Police Marine Unit at Stacy.Kellough@torontopolice.on.ca

Montreal Contact: Josée Côté, Director General, Nautisme Quebec at dg@nautismequebec.com

Whistler Symposium: Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the CSBC Symposium in Whistler, B.C., to be held from October 1 - 3. Join us for a great learning and networking experience in beautiful British Columbia. With the theme of Many partners, one goal, the Symposium will offer great presentations and panel discussions on a variety of boating safety issues, with a B.C. flavour. The Symposium Committee, headed up by CSBC Director Lawrence Jacobs and with the support of CSBC Director Jason Krott of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety and Board members and volunteers from across the country, is busy developing the details of the program, which will be posted on the CSBC website in the coming weeks. Popular presenter Baz Kirk from Maritime New Zealand will be joining us to talk about boating safety in the Pacific Islands.

Go to 2024 Symposium Details (csbc.ca) for hotel and registration information. We look forward to seeing you there! 

NEW In-Person Cold Water Workshops

The CSBC will be holding two 2 day instructor cold water immersion/rescue workshops in British Columbia this fall, in conjunction with the Annual Symposium in Whistler. One workshop will be held in Victoria on September 23 and 24, and the second will be held in Vancouver on September 26 and 27. Come and learn from renowned cold water expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht! For more information, go to Cold Water Workshops (csbc.ca).

And if you’re travelling to B.C., why not extend your trip and take in the CSBC Symposium in Whistler from October 1 – 3? 

The Shock Factor

Have you ever leaned way back in a straight chair, balancing on the back two legs, and almost fallen over, catching yourself at the last second? That is the first step leading to the shock factor - that big, and perhaps even half-expected action that caused you to gasp in surprise.?

Now imagine that you were not expecting a fall at all…like an accidental fall overboard into the water from your boat or a dock. You are not able to catch yourself, and your gasp of surprise is perfectly timed with your entry into the water. Accidents can happen and if you are not wearing your lifejacket, this gasp could be deadly.

This GASP reaction is the key premise behind the CSBC’s Shock Factor project. Working with Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, the project team developed four Shock Factor experiences to simulate boating-related surprise immersions and help emphasize the risks of an accidental immersion while boating at any time of the year, not just when the water is cold. These experiences included two virtual scenarios and two dunk tanks.

In early 2023, volunteers participated in the Shock Factor experiences, and their physical and physiological reactions were recorded both by cameras and with specially-designed shirts that measured their heartbeat, respiration and volume of air intake. 

Visit the Shock Factor website and check out the physical reactions from several of the participants as they “accidentally” fall off a stand-up paddleboard or Bass boat in the virtual experiences, and as we dunk them into 30-degree Celsius or 16-degree Celsius water. Do you think they were “Shocked”?

Even if the volunteer didn’t outwardly display any physical “shocked” reaction, the physiological data tells a different story. Dr. Giesbrecht and his team at the University of Manitoba analyzed all the physiological data collected and found interesting results. Whether it was the virtual experiences or the dunk tanks, all the volunteers experienced a GASP reaction, and this was observed by the increase in their volume of air intake or tidal volume. 

In addition to producing captivating footage for the CSBC’s social media, what does this mean? It means that whether or not the water in which you are boating is cold, you need to wear your lifejacket to keep you safe in the event of unexpected immersion. Visit www.shockfactor.ca to see more reactions and learn more about the GASP and why wearing your lifejacket at all times is important. And check out the video footage on the CSBC’s Boating Tips Facebook page.

The CSBC is working on messaging for social media campaigns on the GASP and the results of Dr. Giesbrecht’s analysis. There will also be social media around Non-Fatal drowning, to get this information out.

Did you know that not all drownings will result in death? Since 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with several countries, has a working group that is doing research on Non-Fatal Drownings. From this work, a newer definition of drowning has been developed:  “Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/ immersion in liquid. Drowning can be fatal or nonfatal. In non-fatal drowning, the respiratory impairment is stopped before death. Non-fatal drowning can result in a range of outcomes, from no injuries to serious injuries or permanent disability.”

In Canada, the Lifesaving Society and the Drowning Prevention Research Centre are leading the research and data collection to better understand the true burden of drowning. Information and data about non-fatal drownings are still new, but the initial trend that has been seen over the past 3 years of data collection in Ontario is that for every fatal drowning in Ontario, there are nearly FOUR non-fatal drownings that are serious enough to require an emergency department visit or hospitalization. There are also serious health side effects that can have a long-term impact on a person’s life and potential financial impact on society.

CSBC Membership Reminder

If you have not already done so, please renew your membership now. In January we sent membership renewal notices to all our supporters. A heartfelt thanks to all members who were quick to renew their membership. If you haven't done so, please refer to the CSBC invoice you received, or go to https://csbc.ca/en/about-us/membership, or contact our Executive Support Officer at john.mcmullen@teksavvy.com.

We always welcome both organizational and individual new members! As the boater population continues to grow, the CSBC’s motto – Helping you stay safe on the water - is every bit as important. To become a member, connect with us as outlined above.

One Sailor Goes to the Dark Side

With thanks to John McMullen

Last summer, after a lifetime sailing and a fair bit of racing, the CSBC’s Executive Support Officer John McMullen and his partner Beth did what self-respecting dyed-in-the-wool sailors jokingly refer to as “going to the dark side”. They sold their beloved sailboat Annie’s Song and bought a trawler. 

Now, in this age of Google, you would think that determining the origins of that expression would be easy enough. Not so. One explanation caught our eye – “The evil and malevolent aspect of human personality or society (read “corrupted sailor”), often referred to in a lighthearted or comic context.” However, as John explains, “When cruising Georgian Bay and the North Channel, there is either no wind, or it is on the bow, or you are navigating marked channels amongst unforgiving rocks.”   

Their new-to-them boat is a 36-foot trawler named Epilogue launched in 1990. She’s not only longer but also beamier than Annie’s Song. For a couple who live aboard most of the time, from late spring to early fall, this is a definite boon. It also means that there is more to wash, wax, varnish and maintain. However, there is the oft quoted passage from Kenneth Grahame’s classic, The Wind in the Willows that John keeps reminding himself of. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

We gather that Epilogue is apparently the name she came with. Asked if he and Beth had considered changing her name, John indicated that without exception, friends and fellow boaters like it. He also pointed out that there is a tradition to changing a vessel’s name that involves plying all those gathered with costly libation. Besides, they had never thought of naming their dinghy but decided that Prologue might be appropriate.

Navigable Waters Act Review

From Transport Canada

The Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA) Legislative Review team is pleased to inform you that the CNWA Discussion Paper has been published and is available to the public for comment.

Changes to National CMAC Meetings

Transport Canada has announced that meetings of the National Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) will now be held only once a year in the fall. The annual fall meeting will also be held in person only.


This switch to a single national CMAC will be complemented by the 5 regional CMAC meetings that occur each year in Pacific Region, Prairies and Northern Region, Ontario Region, Quebec Region, and Atlantic Region. Representatives from Transport Canada’s HQ will be available to attend regional CMAC meetings to provide updates on regulatory files and initiatives, as necessary.

New TV Series: Garde côtière

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has partnered with TV production company Zone 3 to showcase their work for Canadians in a slick new docuseries called Garde côtière! In the10 episode French-only series, they highlight employees expertly executing icebreaking operations, search and rescue interventions, and deploying aids to navigation and safety measures in Canada’s waterways. Garde côtière runs on Canal D in Quebec from February 6 - April 9, 2024. After that it can be viewed on Noovo. 

In Brief

We were sorry to hear in February of the passing of Rick Bryant, former Assistant Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard Pacific Region. A knowledgeable, engaging and principled leader, Rick headed up the B.C. Chamber of Shipping following his retirement from the CCG. Our condolences to Rick’s family and friends.

As reported by Boating industry Canada at Canadian Marine Retailers Association (CMRA) Announces Inaugural Board of Directors (boatingindustry.ca), the newly formed Canadian Marine Retailers Association has announced their inaugural Board of Directors. As the voice of all aspects of retail in Canada’s recreational marine industry, CMRA members represent over 800 member companies across the country. CMRA was formed to create a cohesive and constructive national voice for advocacy issues on behalf of the recreational boating industry. 

Julie Gascon appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the MPA (port-montreal.com)

Here's our annual photo of Riley looking forward to the boating season!

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