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T-SAR, CPS-ECP, and The Red Cross Pilot a Life Jacket Loaner Program

Sept 14, 2015

It is said that a true friend will lend you the shirt off their back, which is a nice sentiment but not the sort of gesture our fastidious times really call for. We think that a true friend will lend you a life jacket that can save your life when you are out on the water.

There are standards for life-jackets that have to be met (and you can read about those standards here). Life jackets are named as such for a reason. If you want to live if you are suddenly over the side and in the chop, you had better be wearing one.

The Coast-Guard approved site mentions the minimum standards. You might also want to add to yours, a whistle and a strobe light; a bobbing head alone in the waves can be very hard to spot, especially at night. Rescuers want to rescue you just as quickly as you would like to be rescued.

Of course, in the excitement of planning your boating excursion, you might have remembered your hats, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, the lunch and all the other comforts for a day on the water. However, did you get around to making sure that everybody in your vessel has a rated-life jacket with the proper fit?

Toronto Search and Rescue in association with Canadian Power and Sail Squadron and Red Cross have joined forces to ensure that all boaters are safe on the water. On Saturday August 1st and Saturday September 5th, a pilot Life Jacket Loaner Program day took place at Ashbridges Bay Boat Launch.

Both days were actioned packed with CPS-ECP performing Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks (RVCC) educating and ensuring all boaters launching had all the correct safety equipment. If a boater was found to be deficient in the number or sizing of the life jackets, Toronto Search and Rescue was there to loan (free of charge) a life jacket from a huge selection of Salus branded stock.

The volunteer team spoke to all boaters launching those days about safety on the water and the fact that 24% of all drownings could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a life jacket.

The hope is to expand the program next year and introduce the program at different parks around the city to ensure all boaters are safe on the water.

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