About a dozen Haligonians joined a North American effort to create a world record for the most life jackets inflated at once on Thursday.

To a cry of, “Ready, set, inflate,” members of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, Coast Guard and other organizations triggered a range of personal flotation devices at Sackville Landing in Halifax.

Their numbers were rounded out by two mascots — a polar bear and a life jacket — and they joined groups across Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

Sandra Inglis with Transport Canada said they wanted to remind people of the dangers of boating without a life jacket.

Ten people have died already this year in Atlantic Canada and none wore a life jacket. Inglis said 80 per cent of boating fatalities involve people not wearing life jackets.

Cold shock is a fatal factor at this time of year as people gasp when they hit the freezing water on a sunny day, suck in a mouthful and drown, regardless of how close they are to shore or how good a swimmer they are.

“It’s like if you’re in the shower and all of a sudden the water changes to cold and you gasp,” Inglis said.

“It’s the same reflex when you fall into the water.”

Final figures weren’t available on Thursday, but organizers said they’d be happy if it encouraged one person to wear a life jacket.