Our First Contest; Making the Shift in Thinking about Water Safety

Did you know that on average, every month, six people die from drowning? Six people every month!!

According to Statistics Canada, drowning was the leading cause of death for recreational and sporting activities in the early 2000s. According to the Lifesaving Society, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death for Canadians under the age of 60, and about 63% of these fatalities are male.

Drowning IS Preventable
Drowning IS Preventable

With these facts in mind, does it not make sense to put on a life jacket or vest before taking part in water sports? Does it not also make sense that you should refrain from drinking alcohol while out on the water?

With careful planning you can avoid injury or death. Don’t your loved ones deserve that? Keep in mind that nobody expects to drown today. You probably do not expect to drown today and yet six people are more than likely to drown this month. And every other month of the year.

You can watch this short Youtube video for Global TV’s take on water safety, boating and drowning.

We want to find out from you, our readers and followers, what it would take to change peoples’ attitudes around the issue of water safety. And to encourage you to take part in this conversation, we have created a contest, with the very generous support of the Community at www.preventable.ca.

And it is so simple to enter our contest! Comment on this blog post and answer any or all of the following questions:

  • What it will take to shift peoples’ attitudes towards water safety?
  • What will it take to make the shift from it being acceptable to take a case of beer and coolers on the boat with you to the point where people understand that drinking and boating is equally as dangerous as drinking and driving an automobile?
  • What will it take to make the shift so that people just know to slip on a life vest or some PFD (personal floatation device) while out on a boat?
  • What will it take to make that shift in peoples’ thinking and attitudes?

If you are interested in winning a gift certificate to Canadian Tire worth $100 to be used towards the purchase of water safety equipment, including floatation vests, etc add your comment to this blog post. Remember, you’re probably not expecting to drown today.

A winner will be randomly selected from all contest entrants.

And the legal stuff about our first contest:

No purchase necessary. The contest begins on August 7, 2010 at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and ends on August 31, 2010 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (the “Contest Period”). To enter the contest, go to www.StaceyRobinsmith.com and create a comment under the contest blog post titled “Making the Shift in Thinking about Water Safety”. To be valid, the comment must pertain to the specific instruction or request from the blog post.  All decisions surrounding the validity of the contest entry are solely the decision of the contest judges.  The judges’ decisions are final and binding.  There is a limit to one blog comment entry per day.   One additional entry may be earned by tweeting about the contest and linking the tweet to preventable.ca


To be eligible for this Contest, an individual must: (i) be a legal resident of British Columbia and (ii) have reached nineteen years of age at the time of entry.  Employees, representatives and agents of Stacey Robinsmith dot com (the “Sponsor”), the Sponsor’s parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, its advertising or promotional agencies and any entity involved in the production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of the Contest and members of the immediate family or household of any of the above, are not eligible to participate in the Contest. In these Rules, “immediate family” means husband or wife, mother, father, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.


The Contest begins at 12:00:01 AM Pacific Time (“PT”) on August 8 and closes at 11:59 PM PT on August 31, 2010 (the “Entry Period”). No purchase is necessary to enter the Contest. To enter the contest, go to the URL http://www.StaceyRobinsmith.com and post a comment under the contest blog post titled “Making the Shift in Thinking about Water Safety”.  To be valid, the comment must pertain to the specific instruction or request from the blog post.  There is a limit to one blog comment entry per day.   One additional entry may be earned by tweeting about the contest on Twitter.com and linking the tweet to the preventable.ca URL of the specific contest.   The tweet must be copied and pasted into Twitter as outlined in our post titled “The Skinny on Entering Contests on Stacey Robinsmith dot com”.  To enter, the entrant must enter a valid email address. All decisions surrounding the validity of the contest entry are solely the decision of the contest judges.  The judges decisions are final and binding.

The entry must include a Name, Email Address, and Comment.

Limit of one entry per email per day during the Entry Period. Multiple entries will be disqualified. All entries must be submitted no later than the end of the Entry Period. All entries become the property of Stacey Robinsmith dot com and none will be returned. Illegible, incomplete, late, or garbled entries will be disqualified. No entries will be accepted by any other means, including but not limited to email.


PRIZES: On or about September 2nd, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia at 12:00 pm a random draw will be conducted, by a representative of Stacey Robinsmith dot com to select one (1) entry for the prize. All entries received throughout the entry period will be included in the draw. Odds of being selected for a grand prize are dependent upon the number of eligible entries received.


There will be one (1) prize package, available to be won, consisting of

One gift certificate to Canadian Tire worth $100 Canadian in value. The gift certificate is to be used towards the purchase of water safety equipment, including floatation vests, etc.

a. The approximate value of the prize is $100. Exact details of the prizes to be determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion and final prize details will be posted at www.staceyrobinsmith.com after August 7, 2010. b. Prizes must be accepted as awarded. Delivery of Prizes will be coordinated with the winner after the winner has been successfully contacted, complied with all contest rules and requirements and been declared a winner. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equivalent value if a prize listed above is unavailable for any reason.


a. Before being declared a winner of any prize in this contest, each selected entrant will be required to answer, without assistance of any kind, whether mechanical or otherwise, a time-limited mathematical skill-testing question, and to comply with all the Contest Rules. The prizes are not transferable or convertible to cash and must be accepted as awarded.

b. Selected entrants (Winners of the random draw) will be notified by email and must respond within forty-eight hours of notification. Upon notification, each selected entrant must respond by telephone to the contact number provided in the notification and the selected entrant’s response must be received by Sponsors within forty-eight hours of such notification. If a selected entrant does not respond in accordance with the Contest Rules or the selected entrant is unwilling or unable to comply with the Contest Rules, he/she will be disqualified and will not receive a prize and another entrant will be selected for that prize. Sponsors are not responsible for the failure for any reason whatsoever of selected entrant to receive notification or for Sponsors to receive selected entrant’s response.

c. Before being declared a winner, each selected entrant will be required to sign a Declaration and Release form confirming compliance with the Contest Rules and acceptance of the prize as offered and (i) releasing the Sponsor and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, directors, officers, suppliers, agents and sponsors from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in this Contest or participating in any prize-related activity or the acceptance, use or misuse of any prize, including without limitation costs injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising there from and (ii) granting Sponsor and its representatives and agents the unrestricted rights, in their collective or individual discretion, to publish without any further compensation the name, picture, portrait, likeness, voice and ideas of that entrant for advertising and promotional purposes. The Declaration and Release must be returned within five business days of the notification date indicated on the documents or the selected entrant will be disqualified and the prize forfeited.


By entering the Contest, Entrant: (a) releases and holds harmless Sponsor and its directors, officers, employees, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, sponsors and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind to persons, including death, or property damage, resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize, participation in this Contest, or participating in any prize-related activity; and (b) agrees to fully indemnify Sponsor and its directors, officers, employees, parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, sponsors and agents from any and all claims by third parties without limitation


By entering this Contest, Entrants agree to be bound by these Contest Rules, which will be posted at the Contest Website www.staceyrobinsmith.com/MakingtheShiftinThinkingaboutWaterSafety throughout the Contest. Entrants further agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any Entrant it finds to be: (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest  (b) violating the Contest Rules; (c) acting in an unsportsman-like or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.


Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for lost, late, misdirected or incomplete Entries, notifications, responses, replies, or any agreement and release documents or for any computer, online, telephone, hardware, software or technical malfunctions that may occur (including but not limited to malfunctions that may affect the transmission or non-transmission of an Entry). Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of Entries in the Contest. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any injury or damage to Entrants or to any computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in this Contest. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at their sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.


By entering the contest, each entrant agrees to (a) the Sponsors’ use of entrant’s personal information for the purposes of administering this Contest.

10. LAWS

These are the official Contest Rules. This Contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations. These Contest Rules are subject to change without notice in order to comply with any applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws or the policy of any other entity having jurisdiction over the Sponsors.


Sponsor reserves the right to amend or terminate all or any portion of this Contest at any time for any reason without prior notice.





37 responses to “Our First Contest; Making the Shift in Thinking about Water Safety”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stacey Robinsmith, Stacey Robinsmith. Stacey Robinsmith said: Shifting our thinking about water safety; our contest is up and running on my blog; http://bit.ly/clGWWc @preventable […]

  2. Raul Avatar

    I think that it will take a while to shift attitudes and behaviours, but most definitely it will require education! Folks need to be informed of how easily some injuries could be prevented, and that would probably be a first step.

  3. stacey Avatar

    I agree with Raul, education over time. It took many years of education and enforcement for drinking and driving to become an unacceptable practice.
    However, seeing time and again all summer long news about people drowning is very upsetting. Drownings are so easily prevented. Please think before heading out onto or into the water.

  4. Stacey Napier Avatar
    Stacey Napier

    I think to Shift people’s attitudes towards water safety would be for the unthinkable to happen, or an education system that shows people a real instance of the unthinkable happening to someone else. People need to be shocked now-a-days, unfortunately, in order to change their behavior.

  5. christine Avatar

    What a great read today for me. I learned some things. Thanks!

  6. Bob Gray Avatar

    Not being a boater, drowning hadn’t really entered my world view, until I saw the family talking about eating hot dogs and not fish, as they prepare to go camping… with the tag line “no one expects to drown.”
    I hate the commercial, for its direct and shocking ending… but it is necessary.
    Recently, there have been a few incidents where boating and alcohol have mixed, with unfortunate consequences.
    Law Enforcement, combined with awareness campaigns like this one, will hopefully over time have the same effect that drinking and driving awareness had in the 80’s.
    Good on you for pitching in, on it !!!

  7. stacey Avatar

    Bob, I am not a boater either. But we have a pool for our kids in our backyard. We go to the lake. We go to the aquatic centre. All places we need to think before acting. Injuries and death from drowning are preventable.

  8. jessica Avatar

    Education and publication of the harm that misbehavior on the water can cause is definitely needed for water sports fanatics. I think we lack that promotion of this aspect

  9. deni Avatar

    These are tough questions. I think that to get people to wear PFDs in boats we need an education campaign with legislative enforcement like we once went through with seatbelts. Most people we know would not think of taking their young children in a boat without a lifejacket, but they don’t have the same standards for themselves. We need people to recognize that they are setting an example and that it is their responsibility to protect themselves.

  10. stacey Avatar

    Perhaps boat retailers have a part to play in encouraging the use of PFDs. The images they show in ads all too often show people in bikinis sitting on the front of a boat. Shift in advertising needed as well?

  11. maria Avatar

    This summer in BC might be a wake up call for a lot of folks. The incident on Shushwap Lake where the houseboat collided with the small boat and killed a man. The driver was drunk. They are making it harder on boaters and cops are checking for alcohol just like they do with the cars.

  12. angela Avatar

    So many young kids and even adults drown every year who can’t swim, weren’t wearing lifejackets and had no buisness being in the water. My kids are young, taking swimming lessons, but they can’t swim. So when i take them to the pool even though they are in the shallow end, they always have their lifejackets on because anything can happen in a split second!

  13. caitlyn James Avatar

    I think the PFD part needs to get sexy. When I can look as good in my personalized (colours, patterns, logos, ruffles?) PFD as I do in a bikini (and we’ll agree that for some that is a harder sell than for moi…) it gets easier to slide it on.

    People don’t always realize that having their own life jacket that fits THEM makes a difference to comfort. Most of us non-boaters only put on a PFD occasionally and they are closest fit. They rub in the armholes and feel awkward. One that fits well makes a difference.

    I agree that advertising should change to show people enjoying the water while using appropriate safety devices.

    The drinking is tricky. It isn’t only the “captain” of the boat who requires sobriety should things go wrong. The water + beer = fun equation is STRONG. But not unbreakable. One part will be a “sneer” campaign. Notice now how “we” sneer at the people who are “stupid” enough and irresponsible enough not to use a seatbelt or to drink and drive.

    And, finally, if we are really serious, we will pay to have “security” at all boat launches and popular boating beaches. No one gets in a boat without the required license and any alcohol in coolers (or otherwise) is returned to the vehicle unopened.

    (I guess I should I broken this up over multiple days to get multiple submissions, eh?) 😉

  14. Heather Stewart Avatar

    In much the same way seatbelt compliance and drinking and drinking and driving have improved over the years, I’m sure it will take a strong combination of education and law enforcement to improve safety on the water. Is there any information available about which tactics have been most effective for seatbelts and drinking and driving? That might be a good place to start.

  15. […] and giving away a $100 Canadian Tire gift certificate to one lucky person who posts a comment on Stacey Robinsmith’s (a friend of The Community) contest […]

  16. […] more opportunities to join the debate and profit. In fact, we have a contest on right now via Stacey Robinsmith’s blog called Making the Shift in Thinking About Water […]

  17. pierre peron Avatar
    pierre peron

    the p.d.f. shold be made to lool like any other piece of clothing.I’am sure the technology is there.
    Lets face it, it’s not a really cool looling thing. Maybe a whole new line with a whole new look.If it’s cool it will be worn. look at ski helmets they have become a fashion staitment.

  18. stacey Avatar

    Pierre makes a very good point. The downhill mtn bikers I know all wear tres chic helmets. Perhaps a more fashionable approach is needed? Get Calvin Klein involved in designing pfd? Sounds funny but we may be onto something here.

  19. Colleen Avatar

    As with any other lesson in life, it begins with teaching at an early age. I think divers-ed should be brought back in school and along with it a water safety course. Show real pictures of people who have lost their lives while “having a good time.” It will give a real perspective to what can happen while “having a good time either behind a wheel of a car or boat.” Kids today learn from a visual perspective than reading or hearing about it. Today’s parents need to set the example to their kids that there is a right time and right place to have fun. That being in safe surroundings and people there who are responsible for their and their friends actions.

  20. Susan Avatar

    I’m camping right now with family and my 7-year-old niece is getting over the tragedy of losing a friend to drowning at a lake near Nanaimo, B.C. last week. The little girl was on an outing with her day camp, snorkelling. She and I have not discussed the incident, but today I noticed her putting on a life jacket before swimming – and then my son went back for his too. The tragedy of losing a friend at such a young age has changed this little girl’s way of thinking – but OMG what a way to learn!

  21. stacey Avatar

    Thanks for adding your personal story here Susan. I have personally lost too many of my family members to drowning. The lessons around water safety are not easily forgotten when you lose someone close.

  22. Kaitlin Avatar

    The PCO license is a good start, because most people tend to take things more seriously when you need a license. However, the biggest problem I’ve witnessed isn’t people who don’t know how to properly operate a boat or navigate, but rather drinking and boating. It’s really no different than drinking and driving, excpet that you can’t call a cab. I think that the kind of campaigns they have against drunk driving really need to be applied to drunk boating – workshops in schools, radio and TV PSAs, and serious fines if people are caught drunk boating.

  23. Kaitlin Avatar

    In addition, people often don’t realize that being dehydrated causes similar impairment to being drunk. People often play on the water on hot, sunny days, without taking enough liquid to drink (or with only colas and other diuretics). That’s when they’re most prone to getting dehydrated, and it kills. This is a message that has to get out, along with the message about alcohol and boating.

  24. Monique Peron Avatar
    Monique Peron

    to prevent people from drowning we should drain all water sources. because if there is no more water people won’t drown!

  25. stacey Avatar

    Well Monique, that is an ambitious plan but it is not necessarily certain to be successful. Keep in mind that Edgar Allan Poe drowned in a gutter of water. Some stories suggest he was inebriated. So we are back to the same problem; drinking and water safety.

  26. Carole MacDonald Avatar
    Carole MacDonald

    Young children should be taught to always
    wear life jackets and this should carry
    them into adulthood.

  27. marilyn Avatar

    I don’t know what the solution to this problem is … I do think that every Elementary school should run a ” a water safety program/ and if possible provide swimming lessons to all students. PLUS the message of NO Alcohol consumption or any illegal substance use around water activities.

  28. stacey Avatar

    Marilyn I think that is the key; water and alcohol do not mix. Far too many drownings are alcohol related.

  29. Float - not sink Avatar
    Float – not sink

    I have seen near-drownings and it is not nice. I have seen many people head out in a boat, only to insist that lifejackets be put on the kids and they go without. When the boat tips over the kids will not sink, but the adults usually do…what kind of life is that for your kids. We all joke about it, but it really comes down to common sense – you have a costly boat, you figure you can afford to wear a relatively inexpensive PDF. Make your PDF like a seatbelt and buckle up!

  30. marilyn Avatar

    Oh I so agree Float … Not Sink … Adults you need those Life Jackets on too !!!

  31. Renuka Avatar

    I think people have to identify with the victims in order to change their own actions… when something hits close to home, people are more likely to pay attention. Targeting several specific groups (college students, new parents, and so on) in a series of informational printouts/webpages/ads/whatever could make for an interesting campaign.

  32. Kelsey Keller Avatar
    Kelsey Keller

    Its such a tricky question/set of questions. My gut says that there need to be STRICT laws in place… ENFORCED laws in place before anyone is going to take it seriously. That being said… people break laws everyday. Just look at hands free phone laws being introduced. I still see people talking on their phones everyday w/o hands free. It probably sounds heartless, but if people want to kill themselves… go for it. Be stupid, and wreckless and kill youself. My problem is when that stupidity kills someone else. IDIOTS! I dont know if there is a solution to this problem… I think it needs to realistically be dealt with in various forms: laws, enforcement, PSA, ecudation in schools, etc. Its going to take time though…

  33. Darcy B Avatar
    Darcy B

    I think the only way anything can work is with enforcement. It’s like disciplining a toddler, say no all you want, if u don’t enforce the fact that when you break a rule you’re punished (fined, etc) then it won’t work.

  34. Nancy Avatar

    I think there is a perception by most that there are no “rules” when operating a boat or watercraft. Just like the Counterattack program raised awareness with drinking and driving maybe there needs to be a similar campaign for drinking & boating? The police have the equipment and ability to do enforcement on the water but any enforcement needs to start with public awareness.

    Just like seatbelts are mandatory & there are fines if people aren’t wearing them, maybe there needs to be the same rules with life vests? Are there statistics to suggest that people that drown would not have done so if they were wearing life vests? I know, it sounds obvious but there are other reasons that people drown (not just that they’re not wearing life vests).

  35. Tamara Avatar

    Sometimes we need the law to remind the ‘wild childs’ to play safe.

  36. stacey Avatar

    Thank you one and all for taking part in our conversation around the complex issue of water safety. This contest was conceived in order to create a venue for that conversation to safely take place. I believe that has been the case. To continue to learn more about preventable injuries and deaths I strongly encourage you to visit http://www.preventable.ca.

    Once again, thank you for all the insightful comments. Entries to the contest are now closed as of 11:59pm August 31st, 2010 and the winner will be announced shortly.

  37. stacey Avatar

    Based on a random draw, the winner is commenter #9, Deni. Thank you all for adding to our conversation on water safety and congratulations to Deni.