Safe Boating Awareness Week Gets Underway
ORILLIA, ON, May 15, 2013 /CNW/ - When it comes to public safety, the
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) expects no less of boaters and paddlers
navigating Ontario waterways than they do of motorists travelling on
With Safe Boating Awareness Week getting underway next week (May 18-24,
2013), the OPP is reminding all boaters and paddlers that being
well-informed and focused on safe boating practices is a sure-fire way
to enjoy a tragedy-free boating season.
Responsible for policing more than 94,000 square kilometres of Ontario
waterways, the OPP is highly familiar with the causes of boating
fatalities every year. According to the OPP, the hard facts about how
preventable they are lie in the statistics.
Last year (2012), the OPP investigated 20 fatal boating incidents in
which 22 persons lost their lives. Twelve of these people were boat
operators and 10 were passengers.
Eighteen of the 22 victims were not wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) and in many of those incidents, the vessel either capsized or
the victim fell overboard. Eight of the 20 fatal incidents involved
either a canoe, kayak or sailboat. Regardless of what type of vessel
you are in when the time comes and you really need that PFD, remember
that "It won't work if you don't wear it". Over and above the risk of hypothermia, cold water immersion poses another immediate threat to boaters who fall overboard or whose
Seven of last year's boating deaths involved alcohol consumption. The
motto on the road is "if you drink, don't drive". It is the same on the
water and so are the laws, right down to immediately having your
driver's licence suspended if you are in the "Warn Range".
Factoring in weather is also key to a safe boating season. Make an informed decision and
use sound judgement when deciding the best time to head out on the
Familiarize yourself with the boat you are operating and ensure that it
is properly prepared for the boating season. Remember that the law
requires anyone operating a motorized water vessel to have a pleasure craft operating card.
For more information about Safe Boating Awareness Week, visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council website.
OPP Marine Program
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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division: Sgt. Dave Woodford Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region: Sgt. Peter Leon Phone: (705) 330-3738
East Region: Sgt. Kris Rae Phone: (613) 285-2750
Northwest Region: Sgt. Shelley Garr Phone: (807) 473-2734
Northeast Region: Sgt. Jim McGill Phone: (705) 845-2751
West Region: Sgt. Dave Rektor Phone: (519) 652-4156