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• Boating deaths in Canada have been decreasing. During 2000 (the most recent year for which national data are available), there were 147 boating fatalities - a new low. During 1996-2000, 888 people died in boating incidents, down by 17 per cent from the previous five years (1991-1995).

• Boating accounts for 1/3 of the total Canadian water-related deaths.

• Boating victims were most often pleasure powerboating (33 per cent of deaths), sport fishing (27 per cent) and canoeing (13 per cent).

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• Half of Canadian boating deaths occur on lakes (53 per cent). Oceans (23 per cent) and rivers/streams (22 per cent) account for the balance.

• By region, one-quarter (28 per cent) of Canadian boating fatalities occurred in Ontario during 1996-2000; 21 per cent in British Columbia; 18 per cent in Quebec; 17 per cent in Atlantic Canada; 13 per cent in the Prairie provinces; and 3 per cent in the northern territories.

• Almost all boating victims are male (91 per cent). Half (48 per cent) of all boating victims are 35 to 64 years of age. One-third (33 per cent) of boating victims are 18 to 34 years of age.

• Powerboats are the most prevalent pleasure craft and account for more than half of all Canadian boating deaths. Small open powerboats under 5 ½ metres (18 feet) in length are more often involved than larger powerboats. Canoes are the second-most involved craft. The absolute number of personal watercraft fatalities is low. However the water-related death rate for PWCs, at 11 deaths a year per 100,000 boats, is higher than for powerboats at six deaths a year per 100,000 boats, and higher than unpowered craft (e.g. canoes, sailboats and rowboats) at two to five deaths a year per 100,000 boats.

Source: The Lifesaving Society, national boating fatalities report

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