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22 People Died In Boating Incidents in 2012, OPP Wants You To Stay Safe

Tuesday May 21st, 2013, 10:00am


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As nicer weather moves in, more people are getting ready to hit the open waters on their boats, and the OPP is reminding all boaters and paddlers that being well-informed and focused on safe boating practices is a sure-fire way to enjoy a tragedy-free boating season.

In 2012, the OPP investigated 20 fatal boating incidents in which 22 persons lost their lives. Twelve of these people were boat operators and 10 were passengers.

The OPP say that eighteen of the 22 victims were not wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) and in many of those incidents, the vessel either capsized or the victim fell overboard.  Eight of the 20 fatal incidents involved either a canoe, kayak or sailboat.  Seven of last year’s boating deaths involved alcohol consumption.

The OPP offer these tips for a safe season on the water:

  • 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.
  • 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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