A “fire-alarm” poster that shows an emergency pull cord with the phrase “Pull in case of drowning” will be the centerpiece of this year’s North American Safe Boating Awareness Week in Canada. The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is hoping to communicate via the poster with boating wives to get their husbands to wear inflatable lifejackets.

The safe boating initiative, which takes places in Canada from May 19-25, is targeting women after a study found that not wearing lifejackets was a contributing factor in 80 per cent of the drownings in Canada. Research shows that men are more than four times more likely to drown than women.

CSBC, backed by a study by Gadd Research Inc, found that Canadian women were very willing to discuss lifejacket use and boating safety with their husbands and partners. CSBC said it is hoping to save 100 more lives on the water each year with the campaign.

The "Pull in case of drowning” poster will make its appearance in malls in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Manitoba, as well as in marinas around Canada. The group’s website, www.smartboater.ca, also has a section called “Smart Boater Women.” The website gives information about safe boating practices and the various inflatable lifejackets on the market.

The website also contains boating safety stories that can be used as articles or in newspaper supplements, 30-second audio public service announcements (PSA) for radio, and video PSAs for television that can be accessed for free by media outlets.