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Friday July 6th, 2012

Posted at 1:15pm

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With the Summer leisure season now kicking into full gear, the Essex County OPP is reminding the public to follow some basic marine strategies to ensure a safe and enjoyable season when out on the water. Already this year there have been a few fatalities on the waterways, and it is the hope of the OPP that if these tips are followed, the rest of the season will be a safe one. Life Jackets- A proper certified life jacket is required for each person on board. Competent Operator- Consider a boating safety course and always carry your operator card with you. Check and monitor the Marine Weather Forecast- Conditions can change quickly, particularly on larger bodies of water. Sail plan- Let someone know your planned route and estimated time of return. Time is of the essence in an emergency and it can make the difference between a rescue and a recovery. Safety Equipment- It is required by law. And vary by type of vessel and size. Ensure you have the proper equipment on board each time you said; it won’t help you if it’s left on the dock. (See link) Charts and compass- Be aware of local hazards, water levels, tides and know where you are at all times. Fuel tank- 1/3 to go, 1/3 to return, 1/3 in reserve. Boat condition- Check the hull, hoses, lines, clamps and the battery. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of a break down on the water. Leave the beer on the pier- Boaters caught drinking and boating in Ontario face similar consequences to drinking and driving. This includes power boats, canoes, kayaks, sail boats and personal watercraft.

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