June 2024

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New Canadian Safe Boating Council Board Elected

At the CSBC’s Annual General Meeting on May 22, 2024, the following slate of Directors and officers was elected:

Chair: Mike Dean

Vice Chair: Peter Heard

Treasurer: Joe Gatfield

Secretary: Ron Kroeker

Past Chair: John Gullick

Executive members at large: Mal Blann, Jean Murray


Returning Directors:

Lily Colby, Ian Gilson, Lawrence Jacobs, Jason Krott, Michelle McShane, Dave Moffatt, Brenda Reeve, Steve Wagner plus above Executive

New Directors:

Sean Arbour, Lisa Hanson Ouellette and Frocy Labrador were elected to the Board.

Ex-officio observer: Allan Dennison, Chair, U.S. National Safe Boating Council

Directors Emeritus: Ted Fortuna and Michael Vollmer (CSBC Chair appointments)

Barbara Byers stepped down from the Board at this meeting, and Lawrence Jacobs will be stepping down after the 2024 Symposium in Whistler in October. CSBC Chair Mike Dean thanked all the CSBC Directors for their contribution and commitment, and warmly welcomed the new Directors. The CSBC is a volunteer-based organization, and our growth as an influential and successful boating safety organization is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Board, Committee Chairs and project leaders. One of our greatest strengths is the increasing diversity of the CSBC Board, which includes members from B.C. to Newfoundland, the U.S., the private sector, non-profit and government organizations and different demographic groups. This will help us bring new ideas and perspectives to the boating safety challenges of today and tomorrow.

Volunteer Recognition: Long-serving Director Barbara Byers

At the May 22 Board meetings CSBC Chair Mike Dean presented Barbara Byers with the CSBC Distinguished Service Citation “ In recognition of your many years of outstanding and dedicated volunteer service and leadership to the CSBC and in particular to safe boating research, life jacket wear and education initiatives”.

Barbara has made an extraordinary contribution to the Canadian Safe Boating Council in her 25 years as a Director and representative of the Life Saving Society. Her leadership and contribution can be directly linked to the success of the CSBC as an organization, as well as the success of its many safety campaigns. She has taken on many leadership roles, including Board Chair and Chair of the Education Committee.  Her priority has been communicating the importance of wearing PFDs on pleasure boats, and she has taken a leadership role in safety research and education. Barbara’s articulate use of research data has afforded the CSBC much of its credibility when applying for and promoting evidence-based boating safety initiatives or providing guidance to Canadian policy makers. Barbara is a renowned expert who is widely recognized throughout the Canadian boating community, and her collaboration with our stakeholders, partners, the media and PlaySafe Productions cannot be overstated. Her direct involvement in the many successful safe boating initiatives and programs throughout the years is evidence of her dedication and expertise.  

New CSBC Directors

Sean Arbour

Growing up, Sean’s playground was the deck of a boat. His family’s love of boating instilled in him a deep respect for the water and a fascination with maritime adventures. These formative years laid the foundation for his lifelong commitment to the marine industry and irresistibly wove his life into the ebb and flow of the sea.

Sean has a Master’s degree in Disaster and Emergency Management from Royal Roads University. He joined the Canadian Coast Guard in 2009, where he has developed a profound understanding of the responsibilities that come with safeguarding our waterways.

Sailing in the CCG Fleet exposed Sean to diverse programs, including aids to navigation, icebreaking, enforcement and search and rescue (SAR). It was in the latter program that he discovered his true calling. From 2016 to 2021 Sean worked in the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax. As part of the team responsible for planning and coordinating SAR operations, he witnessed firsthand the critical importance of safety on the water and of preventative mitigation in the face of boating risks.

From 2022 to 2024 Sean served as the National Manager of SAR Project Oversight, where he supported community-based SAR capacity to ensure Canadians have self-determination when it comes to safe boating. In April 2024 he was appointed Superintendent of Compliance and Enforcement, CCG Atlantic Region.

Lisa Hanson Ouellette

Lisa is the Senior Research Officer, Lifesaving Society Ontario Branch (Public Education) and the Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada. The DPRC is the research arm of the Lifesaving Society. It provides the facts (who, what, when, where and why) about water-related incidents and injuries in Canada, including fatal and non-fatal drowning, to organizations involved in water safety, drowning prevention and search and rescue. It also contributes to global drowning prevention research.

Lisa holds a Master of Arts degree and completed doctoral coursework in Sociology from the University of New Brunswick. She has more than 20 years of experience conducting research and has spent the majority of her career working and volunteering for not-for-profit organizations. She has more than 25 years of experience working in the recreation and aquatic industry and holds Lifesaving Society certifications as a National Lifeguard and First Aid Instructor, Trainer, Examiner and Mentor, and Lifesaving Sport Coach Trainer and Officials Instructor. She is the former Executive Editor of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Plan and Resource Guide, and the former Project Manager of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition.

Lisa is a former university varsity rower and lifesaving sport competitor. She enjoys spending time in and on the water with her husband, their adult children and their yellow Labrador retriever. 

Frocy Labrador

Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Frocy has dedicated the past five years to advancing maritime safety. As Training Solutions Manager at Virtual Marine, a leading provider of advanced maritime simulation technology, she has been deeply involved in developing and utilizing cutting-edge simulation tools designed to enhance safety training for mariners. This role has not only allowed her to contribute significantly to the maritime industry, but has also sparked a profound curiosity and passion for improving safety at sea. 

Frocy’s work with Virtual Marine has provided her with a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities within maritime safety. She has been instrumental in helping Virtual Marine Training to deliver realistic training scenarios that prepare mariners for a variety of situations they might encounter on the water. Her hands-on experience with simulation technology has shown her the critical importance of thorough and realistic training in preventing accidents and saving lives.


Frocy constantly seeks new ways to use boat simulation technologies to improve safety for all boaters, both seasoned mariners and recreational boaters. She believes that education and training are crucial for reducing maritime accidents and eagerly shares her expertise with the industry. Her ultimate goal is to foster a safer and more secure maritime environment for everyone who ventures out on the water, whether for work or leisure.

National Safe Boating Awareness Week 2024

National Safe Boating Awareness Week (SBAW) took place across Canada from May 18 to May 24, 2024. The purpose of this initiative, managed by the Canadian Safe Boating Council together with its partners, is to promote safe and responsible boating practices.

To help boaters focus on what is important, the CSBC and its partners promote five key boating safety messages directed towards the most common boating related incidents. They include:

  1. Wear Your lifejacket
  2. Boat Sober 
  3. Be Prepared, You and Your Vessel
  4. Take a Boating Course
  5. Be Cold Water Safe

To help deliver these messages, the CSBC works with a variety of boating and water safety groups and agencies and also depends on the participation of Canadian media to help get the boating safety messages out.

“Safe boating isn't just a week-long focus - it's a year-round commitment. Whether it's a leisurely cruise or a thrilling adventure, always wear your lifejacket and ensure everyone on board does too” - Mike Dean, Chair, Canadian Safe Boating Council

“Sailing is a pleasure and a privilege. Make sure you are trained, have all required safety equipment on board, respect other users on the water, and protect the environment” - Josée Côté, Directrice Générale/General Manager, Nautisme Québec

“When people think about driving impaired, they think about a car on the road. But operating a boat while impaired is just as dangerous and illegal” – Tanya Hansen Pratt, National President, MADD Canada

“We know that time spent outdoors is good for us, both physically and mentally. Outdoor activity continues to thrive, especially in paddling, and it is important for new and seasoned paddlers to be safe while enjoying their time on the water” - Michelle McShane, Executive Director, Paddle Canada.

This year saw successful SBAW events held in several locations across Canada. Here are some highlights:


Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, CSBC, Vancouver Police Department, Canadian Coast Guard, Boating BC, Royal Canadian Marine SAR, Transport Canada, ICBC


RCMP D Division, the Winnipeg Police Service and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service joined Members of the Manitoba Coalition for Safer Waters and Lifesaving Society Manitoba at the Forks to stress the 5 Steps to Safe Boating.


Royal Canadian Navy, RCMP, CSBC, Canadian Marine Rescue, Canadian Power and Sail Squadron


Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Marine Unit, Niagara Regional Police Service, CSBC, MADD Canada, Lifesaving Ontario, Bass Pro, City of Toronto

For more information on Safe Boating Awareness Week, go to www.csbc.ca/en/safe-boating-awareness-week, or check out the CSBC’s social media.

For additional information on boating safety, visit the CSBC’s www.BetterBoater.ca or www.STARTBoating.ca

Nominate a CASBA Hero!

As you’re out on the water this summer, keep your eyes open for people who go above and beyond in their contribution to boating safety, and nominate them for a Canadian Safe Boating Award (CASBA). The next awards ceremony will take place in January next year, and we accept nominations anytime. Go to Nomination Form (csbc.ca) to learn more. 

Register Today! In-Person Cold Water Workshops in B.C. this September

We will be hosting two 2-day (instructor) Cold Water Immersion / Rescue Workshops in September.

Option 1

Date: September 23 & 24, 2024

Location: Victoria International Marina, 1 Cooperage Place, Victoria, BC, V9A 7J9

Cost: $400

Option 2

Date: September 26 & 27, 2024

Location: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Main St. Dock at the foot of Main St., Vancouver, BC

Cost: $400 

Instruction will be in English. Mornings will be spent in class while afternoons will be dockside. Cold Water Workshop topics include: Mechanisms of Heat Loss, Thermal Protection Realities, Extraction Techniques, Triage of Hypothermic Victims, Re-Warming, Packaging, Transport and more.

The Instructors’ Course will provide the tools you need to successfully teach first responders the proper rescue and re-warming techniques that are necessary to hope save lives. For either of the in-person workshops, the participants are encouraged to bring their own boats, if desired, to make the demonstration even more effective. 

Cold Water Workshops (csbc.ca)

Office of Boating Safety (OBS) Changes

At recent Regional Recreational Boating Council meetings, Transport Canada announced that it would be shifting its delivery model for OBS outreach and education activities:

  • direct outreach and education activities will cease as of April 2025 (walking the docks, awareness sessions in schools/day camps, boat shows)
  • at the national level, TC will continue to raise awareness of and encourage compliance with regulations, and continue to provide financial support through the Boating Safety Contribution Program (BSCP)
  • at the regional level, TC will continue engagement on waterways use, Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations and compliance site visits; continue to provide training to enforcement and courtesy check partners; visit rental agencies to ensure regulatory compliance; provide outreach and education to indigenous communities; and support core regulatory functions such as pleasure craft operatory competency
  • new tools will be developed, such as improved data and data analytics to drive BSCP and regulatory program priorities
  • communication tools will be improved, including a revamped website and digital tools re the pleasure craft operator program and pleasure craft licensing.

In Brief

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons/Escadrilles canadienne de plaisance has rebranded its organization to CanBoat/NautiSavoir. The brand features a new logo with a red maple leaf and a blue wave symbolic of boating lifestyle on our rivers, lakes, and oceans. The new name is shorter and identifiable to those interested in becoming part of our nation-wide boating family. CanBoat / NautiSavoir is a national, non-profit boating organization offering courses and seminars for recreational boaters; CPS/ECP has been a valued partner of the CSBC for many years. More information at CanBoat.ca.

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