Not safe enough

News reports filled the airwaves Monday of a series of nine drownings in Ontario over a nine-day period.
During fishing tournaments in Northwestern Ontario, all tournaments demand that fishermen wear life vests when under power of the main motor. It is a safety requirement. And yet many anglers and boaters reject wearing life jackets when they are on the water.
Drownings are the third leading cause of accidental death in Canada, and is the highest risk category for men ages 18 to 34. Over 400 people drown in Canada each year and 60 percent of those deaths occur in summer time.
In Canada, the laws require that a personal life vest must be on board for each person in the boat. In most cases, those vests are stored away in boat compartments and are inaccessible in an emergency.
Most parents with young children insist that their youngsters wear a life jacket in the boat for protection, yet choose to disregard their own advice because they are older.
Even those anglers fishing the tournaments are suspect when the tournaments are not on, and in many cases choose not to wear a safety vest when fishing. And during tournament angling days, most jackets can be seen on the seats when the fishermen are fishing.
It is a startling statistic that more anglers drown than swimmers and more fishermen die than power boaters, canoeists, scuba divers, sailors and kayakers combined.
The new personal flotation devices, which inflate on contact with water, do not have the bulkiness of traditional life jackets, and do not impede anglers or boaters. They do eliminate one of the arguments for not wearing a person flotation device.
A study conducted in 2008 by the Canadian Lifesaving Society found that 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
While Transport Canada has mandated that beginning on Sept. 15 of this year, that every person operating a pleasure watercraft must have a license, they have neglected to mandate that every person on board such a craft must wear a life jacket.
Such a law would save more lives in Canada.