Each of these fatalities has left a family devastated and has denied the world of a child’s future potential.

Accidental death is the leading cause of death for children in Canada and drowning consistently ranks among the top three accident types. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of 60 children per year drowned in Canada.

An average of 103 people drowned each year when engaged in powered and non-powered boating and is the second most frequent activity involving drowning fatalities. The statistics show that 198 teens aged 15-19 perished during boating activities between 1991 and 2010, 248 children if we add the 50 deaths of kids aged 5-14. That’s enough kids from boating alone to fill four school buses or a wide-bodied aircraft. Not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) is the number one reason for these fatalities.

Many of these drownings are entirely preventable but are still occurring in part, because unlike in other jurisdictions, lifejackets and PFDs are not mandatory in Canada in recreational boating, not even for children.

Join us in our efforts and write to your Member of Parliament to urge the Minister of Transport to make lifejackets and PFDs mandatory for children in recreational boating. To find a form letter for your MP, click here .

Because losing one more child is one too many.

Change the law. Save a Life.


(1)  Yanchar, Natalie L.;  Warda, Lynne J.; Fuselli, Pamela; Child and Youth Injury Prevention, A Public Health Approach, Canadian Paediatric Society, Injury Prevention Committee at p.2.
(2)Drowning Prevention Research Centre, Canada, Canadian Drowning Report, prepared for the Lifesaving Society, 2019 edition at p. 4.
(3) Ibid at p.9.
(4) The Canadian Red Cross &The Cooke-Rees Memorial Fund; “The Floatation Report, Lifejackets/Personal Floatation Devices and Boating Fatalities in Canada, 20 years of Research, 1991-2010 at p. 83; https://www.redcross.ca/crc/documents/What-We-Do/Swimming-Water-Safety/2016_Flotation_Report_E_May30.pdf
(5) Supra, note 2 at p. 10.