Up and down the entire coast of BC you will see PFD/lifejacket hooks at the top of ramps. The Bella Coola Harbour Authority and the Centennial Pool Commission have worked together to bring this program to Bella Coola to make boating safer. The Department of Fisheries has also given permission to use their bulletin board. Thanks to everyone.
First, let’s clarify what the difference is between a PFD (personal floatation device) and a lifejacket. A lifejacket has been thoroughly and expensively tested to ensure it will turn its unconscious wearer face side up seven out of 10 times. Often these are bulkier and more expensive due to the coast of the testing. PFDs are more comfortable and people are more likely to wear them – definitely a good thing.
The hooks you see at the Boat Launch and at the wharfhead are to donate your unused PFDs. These will also hold new PFDs donated through a program launched by the Centennial Pool.
Last year’s pool manager, Janice Newkirk, procured funding through the Canadian Red Cross and the Royal Lifesaving Society to make families more water-wise. The program is called “Open water Wisdom”.
The donated PFDs are available for loan from the Centennial Pool for families heading up to Fisheries Pool or sailing off down North Bentick. You may call the Centennial Pool for more information 250 982-2488. If you and your family are around the water this year, please wear PFDs!