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OPP offer safe boating tips

By Adam Riley May 18, 2023 | 9:35 PM

The holiday long weekend is almost upon us and the Ontario Provincial Police are asking those who plan on heading out onto the area’s lakes and rivers to be safe.

Constable Rob Chivers-Wilson says this includes operators being properly licensed.

“You need a pleasure craft operator card at minimum or an equivalent course. You will be asked for this information by a marine inspection officer if you are stopped. We want people to be prepared. We want people to be properly trained when you’re out operating a vessel, and that’s for everybody’s safety on the boat.”

Police plan to have marine units out in force this long weekend.

Boaters are advised to check the condition of their boats before putting them in the water, and making sure the proper emergency supplies are also on board.

As well to examine their life jackets for any rips or tears which could compromise their ability to work in the water.

“In 2022, Ontario had 29 boating-related collisions where fatalities were a result. Of these 29 collisions that had fatalities involved, 86% of the people were not wearing their life jackets. It just shows how important it is to wear your life jacket when you’re out on the water.” says Chivers-Wilson.

If you use inflatable PFD’s, be sure to know how they work.

Be sure to plan out your trip and let friends or family know where you are going, and when you plan to be back.

Police are also reminding boaters that the same rules that apply for the consumption of alcohol or drugs and driving also apply to all forms of watercraft.


With files from Randy Thoms


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