Safe Boating Week starts May 27

There's lots to do and see when Nanoose Power and Sail Squadron hosts safety event

The Kang Li is the Shipping News boat of the week

Boats don’t have to be large in order to be impressive and while Kang-Li is only 18 feet in length, the home-built Cape Charles kayak is certainly that.

Built of mahogany plywood, the 15-year-old boat —  this week’s Shipping News boat of the week, was one of two sister ships built in B.C.’s Central Interior to ply the coastal waters around Vancouver Island.

The Kang-Li was made of mahogany plywood, using the stitch and glue technique and painted with traditional Maori designs. With a fresh coat of glue and varnish, she’s ready for maritime action. Watch for her off local beaches this summer.



• Learning about boat safety doesn’t have to be a chore and a bore and Bonnie Chomica knows all about that.

Chomica, who works with the Nanoose Power and Sail Squadron, is confident that anyone who comes to Fairwinds Marina for Safe Boating Sunday, May 27 will not only learn how to be safe on the water, but also enjoy themselves.

The event is being held to promote Safe Boating Week and will be filled to the gunnels with both information and demonstrations.

“You can bring your flare gun to have it tested, have your fire extinguishers checked and we will have man overboard demonstrations about how to get someone out of the water,” she said.

“We are also hoping for a fly past by one of the rescue planes from Comox and the Coast Guard cutter should be available for an on-board tour. We’ll also have all the latest safety equipment on display.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to attend.



• Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to maritime endeavors in B.C.?

If so, you might want to tip off the Maritime Museum of B.C. about him or her.

That’s because the museum recently unveiled a new medal for outstanding maritime contributions in the province, the SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence.

These achievements may include — but are not limited to — science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, and academic contributions.

The gold-plated medal, which incorporates copper from the 19th century steamship S.S. Beaver, underlines not only B.C.’s vivid maritime history, but also highlights the continuing importance of British Columbia’s maritime sector. Three of the medals will be awarded each year.



• So there you are, in the water, your boat overturned beside you. What do you do?

The Canadian Safe Boating Council has some ideas that could save your life.

Should your boat capsize and you find yourself in the water, try to reduce the rate of heat loss by climbing onto the overturned hull or any other floating object such as a cooler.

If none are immediately available, remain as motionless as possible to allow your skin to warm a thin layer of water around your body.

Thrashing in the water not only disturbs this layer of warmer water but also accelerates heat loss.  If you are alone, tuck your legs and fold your arms across your chest in the HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Position) to protect your vital organs.  If you are with others, huddle together, interlacing your arms and legs and pressing your torsos together to preserve body heat.


One of the big questions is whether to stay with the boat or swim to shore.  You should only consider swimming for shore if you are wearing a lifejacket, your chances for rescue are very slim and the distance to shore is manageable.



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