For Immediate Release

May 24, 2013


LHSC offers tips during Safe Boating Awareness Week


LONDON, OntarioFor many Canadians, the summer means getting outdoors and enjoying activities, such as fishing, boating or canoeing.  Every year, Canadians die in tragic and preventable boating-related incidents. May 18 -24 is North American Safe Boating Awareness week. 


There are 5 key messages that are important to the boating community:


  • Wear an approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or Lifejacket
  • Don’t Drink & Boat
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared, Both You and Your Vessel
  • Be Wary of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion


Legally, you must carry an appropriately sized lifejacket on board for every passenger, but the safest way to carry it is to wear it!  Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and irresponsible. Be Prepared! Have the appropriate safety gear for you and your vessel and know the environmental conditions before boating.


In recent years, there has been an average of 28 hospitalizations in Ontario per month associated with boating through the months of June to September. Most injuries occurred on-board a watercraft.  A Canadian Red Cross report stated that only 12% of immersion fatalities were reported to be correctly wearing a lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device. Of all recreational boating immersion deaths, 93% were male and alcohol was a factor for nearly half of these.


As the summer begins, LHSC’s trauma program team would like everyone to pay attention, plan ahead and reduce the risk of being injured in a boating related incident.


As the designated Lead Trauma Hospital (LTH) for the Southwestern Ontario region, LHSC plays a leadership role in the specialized care of injured adults and children, including those involved in water-related incidents. The program coordinates services to meet regional needs and participates in local, provincial and national programs related to education, research and injury prevention.


For further information on LHSC’s Trauma program:


For further information on safe boating visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council at  or Canadian Red Cross at



About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit 



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For media inquiries contact:                                                               

Kathy Leblanc

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

519-685-8500, ext. 74772


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