Safety

SAFETY

All outdoor activities have inherent risk. The Club attempts to manage the level of risk by making safety the responsibility of all Club members. The well-being of individual paddlers and traveling companions is always of paramount concern. To this end safety is factored into all club training and tripping activities.

When joining the club you must read and sign (to acknowledge understanding) Assumption of Risk form and indicate your agreement to confide in your trip leader instructor any medical or physical condition that is likely to impact on your outdoor activities. This includes divulging any health issues, history of allergies or prescription drug use. Your safety and the well-being of your traveling companions depend on it.

It is the responsibility of the individual to inform the trip leader of any health issues that could become a problem on the trip. This includes any history of allergies and prescription drug use. Because our activities are centred on the water, it is essential that all members have a strong swimming ability. If you have any concerns in this regard, you are encouraged to discuss your abilities with the trip leader. While the Club does not offer swimming lessons, there are a number of good swimming programs in the region. Members are encouraged to take swimming lessons, as appropriate, to build and maintain a suitable level of swimming ability. If a paddler is not a strong swimmer, they MUST wear a PFD at all times while in, on, or near the water.

All members are encouraged to take basic first-aid, CPR and life saving courses. The Club maintains safety and rescue equipment including waterproof first aid kits, throw bags, hypothermia kits and other safety and rescue equipment. Members are encouraged to become familiar with this equipment. There is little point in carrying equipment if we are not practiced in its proper use.


(NOTE: NEW REGULATIONS WILL BE POSTED - these regulations are previous requirements)
Canadian regulations for canoes require each boat to carry:

•    one Canadian approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket, of appropriate size, for each person on board;
•    one buoyant heaving line of not less than 15m.in length;
•    one manual propelling device;
•    one bailer;
•    a sound-signaling device; and
•    navigation lights that meet the applicable standards if the pleasure craft is operated after sunset, before sunrise, or in restricted visibility.

For more information consult the Transport Canada website at:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/en/menu.htm
Telephone: 613-990-2309.

This is the minimum legal requirement. Please note that the Club has its own policy which goes beyond these minimum requirements.

For club trips you must have:

•    one approved PFD of appropriate size for each person on board;
•    one buoyant heaving line, of not less than 15m, per boat;
•    one paddle per person plus one spare paddle per boat;
•    one bailer with a cord or fastener buckle to fasten it to the canoe;
•    one signaling device per person. This may be attached to your PFD. (The whistle must be "pea-less", like a Fox 40);
•    one waterproof flashlight per boat if out after sunset, before sunrise, or in periods of restricted visibility; and
•    one first aid kit per group.

Although some items are only required "per boat", and the club traditionally provides some of the boat safety equipment, like the first aid kit, it is recommended that all paddlers consider these items as "personal equipment". It is, thus, recommended that each member bring their own buoyant heavingline and bailer, as well as their PFD, whistle and paddle.
Outdoor activities, in general, carry a potential riskof exposure to hypothermia. This risk is accentuated on the water where strenuous activity and exposure to wet conditions can increase the level of risk. All Club members need to be aware of hypothermia, the signs and symptoms, the dangers, the remedies, how to prevent it in ourselves and recognize it in others. Additional materials concerning hypothermia are posted at the canoe shed and on the website under Safety. Detailed information on hypothermia isavailable at the Pool Safety Session (see schedule for dates).


One last item worth mentioning under safety is the possibility of wind hazards on large lakes. If you are not familiar with route planning to avoid this, or if your paddling skills are not quite up to handling high winds, bear this in mind when planning trips or when joining a trip.
 

INSURANCE

Through the YMCA-YWCA an insurance policy is maintained to cover volunteers and to cover club equipment replacement value. The insurance on equipment carries a $2,500.00 deductible. While this level of insurance is adequate for major disasters it provides little benefit in the event that a single tent, pack or canoe is lost or destroyed. The Club therefore requires that trips be self-funding (loss or damage) and that all trip members agree to this financial responsibility.
The Club cannot assume financial liability for loss of personal property