As a waterfront community Burlington is fortunate to be close to some of the finest marina facilities on Lake Ontario.
Anchored in the east in Oakville is Bronte Harbour Marina (pictured below), a full-service marina located in the Heritage Waterfront Park in the Village of Bronte. The facility boasts a boat yard, fuel dock, stable floating docks with both electrical and water hook-ups dockside.
On the western edge of the city is Harbour-West Marina in Hamilton, a 7-day a week operation offering everything required for a pleasurable boating experience.
There are also several yacht clubs in the area where you can learn to sail or participate in regular sailing race days without having to own a boat. (Check out LaSalle Park Marina Association which also hosts the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club.)
Every boater will tell you that life begins with a boat, and also tell you that boating is far more enjoyable when safety is front and center. That means that the captain and the crew are always wearing PFDs (personal flotation device) or lifejackets when out on the water.
Since it’s such an important message, Canada’s leading boat safety organization, the Canadian Safe Boating Council along with its counterparts world-wide kick off Safe Boating Awareness Week at the beginning of the first long weekend of the summer, this year May 21-27.
Since 1995, the campaign has been the mainstay of boating safety outreach to the over 16 million people who recreate on Canadian waters each season.
The core of all of the safe boating campaigns are 5 key messages that have been consistently delivered to the boating community.
- Wear a PFD or Lifejacket – Legally all boats must carry PFDs on board, appropriately sized for each passenger. But don’t just carry it, WEAR IT.
- Don’t Drink & Boat – Boating under the influence is not just illegal; it’s irresponsible. Wait until you get back to the pier to have that beer.
- 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!
- Be Prepared: Both You and Your Vessel – Ensure your boat has all the required safety gear and sufficient fuel. Be sure the weather is suitable for your vessel’s capabilities.
- Be Wary of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion – Cold water is a significant risk. Learn how to protect yourself.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council provides numerous videos on safe boating from required equipment on your boat, weather, calling for assistance, how to be a responsible boat operator and more.
Central to the boating safety message is the Ready Set Wear It! campaign to have as many boaters wearing PFDs photographed in one place. Numerous events are held world-wide and each year the event gets bigger. Last year’s campaign set a new world record for world-wide participation:
- Participants – 10,917
- Inflatable Life Jackets – 1,927
- Inherently Buoyant Life Jackets – 8,990
- Dogs in Life Jackets – 65
- Total Number of Events – 257 – 15 in Canada
Anyone can host a Ready Set Wear It! campaign. Boaters sign up for an event, arrive in their PFDs/lifejackets and during the photo taking, inflate their PFDs where appropriate. There’s a dedicated Facebook page to load photos.
Something new this year, the CSBC is asking boaters to wear their PFD to work as a conversation piece for safe boating.
It’s great living in a community where it’s easy to access water and participate in one of the greatest family recreation past times. But at the same time, we need to be responsible.
Be a SMART Boater and as the Canadian Safe Boating Council says… Don’t Just Carry It, Wear it!
And if you do wear your PFD to work, be sure to send us a photo 🙂