CSBC Presents CASBA Awards

The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) presented seven awards at its annual Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA) gala, held January 10 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The CASBA Awards celebrate a variety of safe boating initiatives, including the rescues, the volunteers, paid boating professionals, safety campaigns and safety products that help make everyone's time on the water safer and more enjoyable.

This year's winners, by category, included:

Best Safety Campaign: Brian Macelwain, President of The Muskoka Lakes Association

In 2009 the Muskoka Lakes Association team began a promotional 'dock drop' program visiting cottages around the lakes. Zip-lock bags were distributed with the 2009 Safe Boating Guides and partner materials. About 3,100 packages were distributed in July and August. The association actively promoted safety on the lakes making direct contact with the boater and went directly the cottager's cottages. If the cottager was not home they left the information on the dock. It is estimated that about 65 percent of the docks were visited on the main lakes of Muskoka, Rosseau and Joseph. In addition, team members also got to the smaller lakes in the area.

Green Marina Environmental Award: Mariner's Cove Marina, MacTier, ON

In 2009 the Clean Marine Program established new Gold, Diamond and Platinum star levels to the existing five anchor ratings, and a dozen new plateaus were added to the 220-point audit checklist. To achieve the Gold status, one would have to meet four of these new standards; eight for Diamond; and all 12 for Platinum. Peter and Vanessa Hintze, owners of Mariner's Cove Marina, announced they were heading for Platinum and they started that journey by achieving Gold status in 2009.

Special Recognition Award: Irwin Doxsee, Treasurer, Canadian Safe Boating Council

Doxsee is a founding member of the Ontario Boating Forum, a member of the Great Lakes Cruising Club, Navigator's Club of Toronto and the Midland Sailing Club. His colleagues at the Canadian Safe Boating Council describe him as quick to volunteer with any important initiative and a very hard worker.

Marine Professional of the Year Award: Jack Kruger

Jack Kruger served as an RCMP officer in the 1980s and 90s, and has volunteered with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) for the last 11 years.  As a RCMP officer in the Arctic, there was never a shortage of search and rescue work, and he tenaciously sought resources and worked closely with the Canadian Coast Guard as a partner in order to resolve problems and bring every incident to a close. Jack is also the Technical Authority for the procurement of RCMP vessels in the Northwest region, which includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, NWT and Nunavut. He conducts winter survival courses for new members of the RCMP that have arrived in the north. Jack continues to support the CCGA Training Committee in its endeavor to improve training by actively assisting in the development of new training methods, the writing of modular based training courses and by continually delivering high caliber training to members in his CCGA district.

Volunteer of the Year Award: Roy Eaton

In 2003, the Little Current Yacht Club was formed by Eaton on Lake Huron's Manitoulin Island. The Anchor Inn Bar and Grill, located on Little Current's harbor, agreed that if Roy created and managed Little Current Cruisers' Net in the North Channel, it would provide space and donate all the equipment needed. Roy said yes and in July 2004 the first broadcast the Little Current Cruisers' Net went out over the air on channel 74. Eaton's service grew to become an important part of the boating community up in the North Channel. By 2005 he was recording an average of 16 calls per day. His most recent report for 2009 shows an average of 96 calls per day from some 1,000 different boats.

Rescue of the Year Award: Harold Sewid

Kevin McGonigle fell off his tugboat, Regent,, on March 3, 2009 while boating on the Fraser River. Little did Harold Sewid know that when he responded to a distress call aboard his vessel, the Pacific Faith, that it was his friend McGonigle that was in trouble. Harold and his crew had barely completed three turns on his search grid when the crew spotted a man in the water. Throwing McGonigle a rope and getting him aboard, Sewid noticed he was shivering uncontrollably and knew that was a good sign that hypothermia was still in the early phase. Cutting McGonigle's clothing off, they wrapped him in blankets, keeping him conscious and then starting back towards port. 

Safeguarding the Environment Award: John Theurer, President of Environmental Marine and Response Products (EMRP)

EMRP started business in 2001 focusing on water reuse and environmental remediation. The company has developed components and methods to manufacture and import components to help closed-facilities clean and recycle their water. EMRP holds seminars with marina operators and their staff, part classroom and part in the yard doing some simulated oil spill containments and clean ups. The mock spill exercises use peat moss, which spreads in a similar manner to fuel. EMRP also does a review of marina's products that can be used or resold to the boating customers as well as a review of the facility itself for potential environmental liabilities.