On May 31, 2018 at approximately 7:00 p.m., Grey County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a 911 call after an inflatable dingy, carrying two people, took on water and capsized in the Owen Sound Harbour of Georgian Bay.

Grey County OPP, along with Owen Sound Police Service, Owen Sound Fire Department and Grey County Paramedic Services responded to the scene.

The victims, a 28-year old male from Arran-Elderslie and a 31-year old female from Tillsonburg, Ontario were wearing life jackets. (NOTE: NOT AS DEPICTED) They were able to make it to the harbour wall with the assistance of a Good Samaritan who tossed a rope to the pair.

The Owen Sound Fire Department used their rescue vessel to retrieve the victims who had limited swimming abilities. They were transported via ambulance to hospital after suffering from hypothermia. Despite the 30 degree Celsius outdoor temperature, the water is still very cold this time of year.

This incident had a positive outcome but it may have had a much different outcome had the pair not been wearing life-jackets. This incident should serve as a reminder to always wear a life-jacket when out in open water. Life-jackets save lives! (NOT MATTRESSES - Approved life-jackets - see photo note below)

Boating fatalities on OPP-patrolled waterways reached an eight-year high in 2017, with 31 people dying last year compared to 23 deaths in 2016.

Whether you are a boat operator or a passenger, consider these facts when heading out on the water in any type of watercraft:

Wear a personal floatation device or lifejacket (modern ones are light and comfortable)
Don't operate any watercraft while impaired
Obtain relevant licencing
Ensure you have all the required safety equipment
Ensure your watercraft is water ready
Be wary of the dangers of cold water immersion (especially this time of year)

For more information about how to remain safe on the water visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

photo note: Original Caption: Recruits with their mattresses tied to them to serve as life preservers. Photo taken at Newport Naval Training Station, Rhode Island. Underwood and Underwood., 04/1917


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