YORK REGIONAL POLICE
York Regional Police Marine Unit would like to remind boaters and anyone planning to have fun out on the water on Canada Day and throughout the summer, to follow safety recommendations and never mix alcohol or drugs with boating.
In the past few weeks, there has been a significant increase in calls for boaters in distress. In one incident, a boat with nine occupants sank leaving the people in cold water until another boater located them and assisted prior to the arrival of emergency services. In several other cases, mechanical malfunctions left boats stranded out on the lake.
Members of the Marine Unit, working in conjunction with South Simcoe Police, will be out on the water to assist boats, as well as conducting vessel checks, throughout the summer to ensure all the necessary safety equipment is onboard and all operators have their mandatory Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC).
All those spending time in a boat or near the water are encouraged to enjoy their time, but do so responsibly. If you drink or do drugs, don’t drive. When it comes to drinking and boating, the same rules apply when out on the water as when you’re operating a car on the road. The penalties for drinking and boating are also the same as drinking and driving.
York Regional Police reminds boaters that each year people die needlessly in accidents on Ontario waterways. Most fatalities on the water are preventable if smart choices are made before leaving shore.
York Regional Police reminds all boaters of the following safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating season:
- Ensure everyone onboard wears an approved life jacket
- Carry all necessary equipment onboard in accordance with the Small Vessel Regulations
- Never drink alcohol or consume drugs before operating a vessel or personal water craft
- Tell someone about your plans and carry a cellphone with a fully charged battery
- Always have enough fuel onboard to get you to your destination
- Be aware of changing weather conditions
- Keep in mind, despite warm air temperatures, bodies of water can still be very cold. Prolonged exposure could cause hypothermia.
For more information on marine safety, please contact the York Regional Police Marine Unit at 1-866- 876-5423, ext. 7321 or visit the Transport Canada website at http://www.tc.gc.ca/