It was with dark irony that, on the same day a Port Hardy man died in a boating accident, the Gazette received its annual public-service reminder from the Canadian Safe Boating Council and SmartBoater.ca, urging boaters to always wear life jackets when on the water.
We do not yet know all the details about the tragedy that claimed the life of Port Hardy husband, father and grandfather Bob Davis last week. And this is not intended to point a finger of blame.
But Coast Guard rescuers report Davis was not wearing a personal floatation device when he was pulled from the water after his boat overturned on a fishing outing.
A life jacket is not a guarantee of safety — there are no ironclad guarantees when we venture forth into the wilds of the North Island outdoors — but it is an affordable and easily accessible insurance policy.
Further, it is not enough to simply have the jacket on board. In experiments conducted by CSBC, volunteers were asked to jump into a pool and try to put on life jacket while in the water. All of them, CSCB reports, spoke of how difficult this seemingly simple task became once submerged.
So take your jackets onto the water and wear them. Please don’t be the next victim.