The Author, Margaret Palmer, is a Commercial Account Executive at Gougeon Insurance Brokers. 

Transcript of Video

In June 2018, we launched the Lifejacket aWEARness Campaign with the goal to reduce the 160 drowning deaths that occur in Ontario waters each year (Watch the campaign launch video blog, You are now entering a Lifejacket WEAR Zone!).

The campaign created waves over the summer months. 56 Ontario resorts transformed their waterfront property into Lifejacket WEAR Zones. Thank you to everyone who has participated; I’m sure you’ve made an impact in your communities.

We distributed 64 posters and over 3,000 tent cards that educated guests about the importance of wearing lifejackets in boats.

But it’s not too late! Email me at margaretp@gougeoninsurance.com if you would still like to join the campaign and to secure your posters and tent cards for the 2019 season (available while supplies last).

As the resort season comes to a close, here are tips for storing and caring for your lifejackets to preserve their lifespan:

  • Store lifejackets in a cool, dry area with adequate ventilation. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight because UV rays can prove harmful to them.
  • Hang up lifejackets whenever possible. If hanging them is not possible, do not place heavy objects on top of them as it can cause damage.
  • Use mild soap and water to clean.

Before your season begins, you should test your lifejackets to make sure there was no damage from the season before. And here are some ways to do so:

  • Check buoyancy by wading out into waist-deep water and bending your knees to see how well you float.
  • Ensure that straps, buckles, and zippers are clean and work well.
  • Tug on straps to ensure they are well attached with no sign of wear and tear.

As you begin to plan for the 2019 season, consider budgeting for new lifejackets. Treat your lifejacket as an investment. Lifejackets that are ripped or torn are not considered approved by the Government of Canada.

For further discussions on how to make your resort safer for your guests and employees, please see me at the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit this year in Sault Ste. Marie from November 13-15. I hope to connect with you there to learn more about your resort and how you create a safe and memorable experience for your guests.

Enjoy the rest of your season! Be safe and have fun!

To join the campaign and to connect with Margaret, email margaretp@gougeoninsurance.com or 1.800.461.1106.

The Lifejacket aWEARness Campaign is proudly sponsored by Gougeon Insurance Brokers, Transport Canada / Transports Canada, and the Canadian Safe Boating Council / Conseil canadien de la sécurité nautique.

Topics: resort risk management, risk solutions, water safety, waterfront safety, safety tips, prevention strategies, Lifejacket aWEARness, Margaret Palmer

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