life jacketsSafe Boating Awareness Week is a chance to get you thinking about boating safety at the start of the season. Last year, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) saw 32 boaters and paddlers lose their lives on OPP-patrolled waterways.

The majority of the people who died in 2020 marine deaths faced similar double setbacks to their safety on the water. The first setback occurred when they ended up in the water because their vessel capsized or they fell overboard. The second setback was the absence of a properly fitted lifejacket, which is designed to keep boaters and paddlers afloat enabling them to breathe if they are rendered unconscious.

On May 23, 2021, members of the South Bruce OPP marine unit were patrolling the waters of Lake Huron when they encountered a vessel lacking in the required number of Personal Floatation Devices (PFD). The operator, a 31-year-old resident of London, was charged under the Canada Shipping Act - Small Vessel Regulations.

For a safe summer on the water:
· Wear a Canadian-approved lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD)
· Check the weather conditions/forecast before you leave the dock
· Paddlers should always stick close to shore
· Boat/paddle sober and drug-free
· Tell people where you are going
· Be cold water aware
· Be mindful of your vessel's capabilities when deciding where to go boating
· Take a boating course

· Safe Boating Awareness Week is annual, national campaign led by the Canadian Safe Boating Council. For more information, visit www.csbc.ca.

· The OPP polices approximately 100,000 square kilometres of Ontario waterways and a vast trails network, along with more than 130,000 kilometres of roadways.

source: media release, South Bruce OPP


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