Calgary, AB,

Life jackets must be worn to save lives

Wearing a life jacket can save your life. Earlier today, a live demonstration of an overturned boat on Lake Bonavista showed how.

“The demonstration shows how quickly and unexpectedly your boating or rafting experience can change,” said Calgary Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Turik. “No matter how shallow a lake, we’ve seen cases of drowning and near-drowning. In a matter of seconds something unexpected can happen and you won’t have time to put on a life jacket, or you could be hurt or unconscious and not able to keep your head out of the water.”

In Canada, approximately one-quarter of boating fatalities occur when a life jacket is present on board but not worn, according to the Canadian Red Cross.

 “Life jackets must be worn to save lives,” said Animal & Bylaw Services Inspector Glen Porter. “Please wear a properly fitted life jacket when boating or rafting on any body of water, whether it’s a private community lake or river. Although City bylaws do not apply to private community lakes, we are asking citizens to take responsibility for their personal safety when out on the water this summer.”

To further demonstrate the importance of life jacket safety, a 30-second video was also launched today on social media and The City of Calgary’s website simulating the experience of drowning.

 “Although some people might find this video a bit grim, it does show the potential consequences of what can happen if you are not wearing a life jacket when boating,” said Calgary Police Inspector Kyle Grant. “We hope that our message that life jackets only save lives if they are being worn, will hit home with this video.”

Calgarians are encouraged to enjoy our many recreational outdoor water opportunities within and close to our city safely. Please be cautious and scout, assess and decide from shore before going on the water. Have fun and be safe!

For more information on water safety, please visit