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Jan 30, 2017

On Sunday evening, January 22, the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) gathered a large group of Canadian boating safety advocates for their annual Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) gala. They came to celebrate the efforts of individuals, companies and organizations who worked to keep Canada’s waterways safe and environmentally sound.
This was the 19th year of the CASBAs and 10 awards were presented for a wide variety of achievements.


Volunteer of the Year:An individual who consistently practises and promotes safe boating in Canada.

Ben Sewel RCMP, Thompson, Manitoba, was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his tireless work with families and youth teaching kayaking skills both in pool and in Manitoba’s north.






Casba 2Safeguarding the Environment: Recognizes a company that has introduced a boating product or campaign in Canada that reduces marine pollution and makes the sport of boating more environmentally friendly.

SOS Distress Light, which is now a legal replacement for pyrotechnic signal flares for recreational boats in the USA. The SOS Distress received the award because it eliminates the environmental problem of properly disposing flares after expiration. Because the SOS Distress Light also replaces the need for pyrotechnics and does not expire, it also saves boaters significant money, earning it the NMMA 2016 Innovation Award. The award was given to Sirius Signal, the inventor, and Weems & Plath, the manufacturer and distributor.

Casba 3Marine Professional: An outstanding act of boating safety and/or a body of marine safety work by a marine organization or professional.

PC William Scott with the Ontario Provincial Police was awarded the CASBA Marine Professional of the Year for his body of work with the Ontario Provincial Police for almost 30 years, with much of it in Marine enforcement. PC Scott has filled a variety of positions, including the OPP Dive group, as a Marine Patrol Officer and instructor.





Casba 2016Best Media Contribution: Recognizes a media outlet, individual or organization that promotes boating safety in media.

Mark King received the CASBA for Best Media Contribution for his work in promoting boating safety over the past 18 years. Specifically, Mark writes a boating safety column called Lifeline which is published in Power Boating Canada Magazine. In Lifeline, Mark covers a wide variety of practical boating safety information to help boaters better enjoy their time on the water.




Casba 5Special Recognition: Awarded to an individual or organization that is truly extraordinary in the boating safety field.

Doreen Hinksman, past Chief Commander with CPS – ECP (Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons) was recognized for her 50 plus years of volunteer service with Power Squadron. Doreen broke through the ‘glass ceiling’ and blazed a trail for women with CPS – ECP. Rising through the ranks, Doreen was the first female National Secretary, National Administration Officer, National Executive Office, and assuming the role of Chief Commander in 1997.



Canadian Red Cross, Quebec RegionBest Boating Safety Initiative: The best boating safety initiative recognizes a successful safe boating initiative conducted in Canada.

The Canadian Red Cross, Quebec region, was recognized for their PFD awareness campaign, ‘Project VFI’ that they have been running in the province of Quebec since 2011. Starting first in Saguenay-Lac-Saint Jean, with the assistance of the Transport Canada Boating Safety Contribution Program, the program expanded to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec with 3 part-time promotional teams. Since the campaign’s inception, more than 60,000 boaters have been reached with PFD messaging.

Casba 7Marine Industry Award: To a company or individual who has introduced a boating product or technology designed to improve boating safety.

The Marine Industry Award went to Maplelea Girls, a Canadian manufacturer of a high-quality series of Canadian themed dolls reflecting Canadian girls from coast to coast. Maplelea receive the award for their British Columbia doll, Charlsea who loves to Kayak. She comes with a lifejacket, kayak and journal that promotes boating safety and lifejacket wear. Charlsea helps to normalize lifejacket wear for young and impressionable girls and show that wearing a lifejacket and thinking about boating safety is part of the boating experience.

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Visible PFD Wear: 
Awarded to a company that consistently or innovatively promotes the wearing of PFDs.

Princecraft Boats received this award for more than 30 years of promoting lifejacket wear in their promotional and advertising activities. Princecraft has safety and lifejacket wear built into their corporate promotional culture and was recognized not just for this past year, 2016, but since the mid-1980s, when safe boating and lifejacket visibility was part of all their promotional activities.

Casba 9Special Recognition: Awarded to an individual or organization that is truly extraordinary in the boating safety field.

The town of Tofino received a special recognition award for the extraordinary work the entire community did in supporting the survivors of the whale watching vessel, the Levithan, which capsized on October 25th, 2015 taking 6 lives. The entire town stepped up with people opening their homes, their hearts and their wallets, to provide medical care, food, accommodation and emotional support to the survivors.

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Stearns Rescue of the Year: 
Recognizes an outstanding rescue by an individual or group.

This year’s rescue of the year winner was S/Sgt Dan Peters for his rescue of Richard Lusklett and his 12-year-old son Alex from the frigid waters of Lake Superior in June 2016. Dan, an OPP S/Sgt who was off duty at the time, stepped up and went out in his small aluminum boat into 5-foot waves and started a search for Richard and his son. He was successful in finding them, got them successfully to shore and the hospital, where the doctors could not believe that either would have survived their frigid 5-hour ordeal in Lake Superior. If Dan had not acted, Richard and Alex certainly would not have survived.


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