|Best Boating Safety Initiative
Rick Easthom, Jack Tang
Richmond is home to a growing number of Chinese Canadians with a passion for boating, but a lack of English language skills has brought a large number of them into harm's way on local waterways. Being unable to read and understand a marine chart, the tides and marine weather often gets boaters in trouble.
Thanks to Rick Easthom and Jack Tang of Richmond, Chinese-speaking boaters in their community are learning to enjoy boating in greater safety. Rick is Commander of the Fraser Power and Sail Squadron and an experienced boater and instructor. Jack is founder of the West Bay Boating Club and very active in the Chinese-Canadian community.
Jack felt that having training materials in their own language would help Chinese-Canadian students improve their safety and competence on the water and approached Rick with the idea. Rick agreed to deliver the training under the auspices of CPS and Jack proceeded to recruit five bilingual Chinese-Canadian boaters who were then trained to become instructors in their native language. Jack provided resources to translate the lesson plans into Chinese characters.
Since the new program was launched in June 2012, 3 Chinese courses have been held in Richmond combining to train 33 participants. Complementing this project, they have developed a workshop to coach participants to manage an emergency call.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council honours Rick Easthom and Jack Tang with the 2012 award for Best Boating Safety Initiative for their valuable resource to improve the safety on the water.