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Safe Recreation in the Shuswap

The Shuswap Watershed Council wants the Shuswap to be a safe place for people to play.

That is why we are reaching out through public education campaigns focused on safety in water recreation. This is especially important for issues that are unique to the Shuswap, and for issues of which there is little public awareness.

8 Top Tips

 Here are eight top tips for having fun and staying safe in the Shuswap:

  1. Whether boating, floating, paddling or SUPing, always wear a lifejacket.
  2. Have a sober skipper! Never boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  3. Be prepared. Check your pre-departure checklist.
  4. Be extra safe in cold water — it can disable you from resurfacing.
  5. Always use a spotter for tow sports.
  6. Watch for floating and partially submerged debris.
  7. Watch — don't just listen — for trouble in the water. Don't be distracted while supervising children.
  8. Always swim with a friend — it's safer than swimming alone.

Silent Drowning

Did you know that drowning victims are usually silent? All of their energy and focus is put into staying afloat, not calling for help. That is why it's so important to always watch – not listen – when you are there to supervise swimmers.

Here's an article on how to watch for signs of drowning: Getting to Know "Silent Drowning."

Lifejacket Loaner Stations

 Lifejacket station at Old Town Bay Boat Launch

Bruce Weicker, Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue Station 106, and Erin Vieira, Program Manager for the Shuswap Watershed Council, hang lifejackets at the self-serve lifejacket loaner kiosk located at Old Town Bay in Sicamous. Photo taken May 2022. Credit: Cliff Doherty.

You can borrow a lifejacket for a child free of charge from a “Kids Don’t Float” Personal Flotation Device (PFD) loaner station, provided by the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR), Station 106 Shuswap.

The Shuswap Watershed Council is pleased to support this great initiative by helping to finance three PFD loaner stations. Thanks to RCM-SAR and many community sponsors, there are now 19 loaner stations in the Shuswap.

See the Map of "Kids Don't Float" Lifejacket Kiosks.

Lifejacket stations

 Canadian Red Cross Lifejacket Campaign

swc_lifejacket_250px.jpgResearch from the Canadian Red Cross — our country’s leading agency on water safety and education — shows that over 87% of those who died from drowning (1991-2000) were not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) at the time, or did not have the device properly secured. Children aged 1-4 years are among those at greatest risk.

Ensure your child’s lifejacket fits snugly, and is properly secured every time you head out on the water.

Visit Safety Sites

Canadian Red Cross – Lifejackets and PFDs

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Station 106 Shuswap

Transport Canada – Office of Boating Safety



About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in British Columbia.

Where We Work

We are grateful to live and work on the unceded ancestral territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

Strategic Priorities

At the Fraser Basin Council, our strategic priorities are to take action on climate change, support healthy watersheds and water resources, and build sustainable and resilient communities.

With our partners, we work on a range of collaborative, multi-sector initiatives, such as those focused on flood management, community wildfire planning, air quality improvement, energy-efficient buildings, green transportation (including the uptake of electric vehicles and expansion of charging infrastructure), watershed planning and youth-driven climate action projects.

FBC Program Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Realizing UNDRIP Initiative

Contact Us

FBC staff work from our Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George offices, and from several other locations.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff or contact our administration office:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350