OXFORD – Take some time to plan ahead and be safe before taking to the water this summer.
© Christopher Gooding photo
Paige Black and Andrew Byrne needed to work together to return Black safely back to their canoe during a safety demonstration at Salt lake in Oxford recently. The two are promoting canoe and boat safety in the province in partnership with the Red Cross and Transport Canada.
Transport Canada and the Canadian Red Cross are traversing the province, bring with them boating safety tips, canoes safety tips, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the Red Crosses new life jacket, or personal flotation device [PFD], program.
“The red Cross has PFD loan program that let’s you borrow a PFD for up to two-weeks for free,” Canadian Red Cross boating safety officer Paige Black said during a canoe safety demonstration at Salt Lake in Black’s hometown of Oxford. “All Red Cross offices in Nova Scotia have lifejackets for the program, and the closest one for here would be in Amherst.”
During the safety demonstration, co-sponsored by Transport Canada, Black and Andrew Byrne demonstrated how to safety return an overboard paddler back into a canoe and proper response to an overturned canoe. Just like with boats, there’s some basic equipment everyone should have with them in a canoe, but is often forgotten.
“A PFD is the first one and you have to have them on, not just in the canoe,” Black said. “If something happened on the water, your reaction time would never be fast enough to safely and securely get it on.”
Having something to bail water, Byrnes said, is another must, as is a signaling device like a whistle and buoyant throwing rope.
“You can get kits with everything fitted into a bucket you can use as a bailer at just about any Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart. Any place with a marine and boating section, really,” Byrne said.