From swimming to fishing, every year Canadians and tourists alike experience the abundance of aquatic activities through thousands of different waterfronts. Of those who experience and explore these wonderful activities to reconnect ourselves with nature, there is always a need to stay smart and stay safe.
Because of our countless opportunities to be in, around, or even on the water; tragically there are hundreds of Canadians who drown each year according to the Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society.
For those who know me, would understand why I have decided to write this short article. I have had my own experience with near drowning, but what caused me to speak out about these sometimes avoidable accidents was a news article of a 69-year old local man who unfortunately passed away on October, 15th 2016. While I never knew this man, I can empathize for his family.
Below, I have shared a snippet of the full article that can be found on Nugget.ca as I felt it was important to remind those of the cold weather we are experiencing at the time of this post.
OPP would like everyone heading out on the waterways to reflect upon the numerous tragic and preventable deaths and injuries that occur on Ontario’s lakes and rivers, due to careless behaviour, every year. This time of year, the water temperatures are much cooler and can cause hypothermia in a matter of seconds.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, hunters heading to their hunt camp, check the load capacity of your boat. Take a second trip, if necessary, to avoid over loading your boat. Distribute the load evenly so that your vessel is not prone to tipping or taking on water.
A big wake can easily upset a smaller craft and can cause property damage along shorelines. Boating restriction regulations limit speed to 10 km/hour when operating within 30 metres of shore.
The OPP supports proactive steps that will help reduce provincial drowning deaths. For more information, go to: Transport Canada website at: https://csbc.ca/en/ or https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/boating-water-safety.html.
Be safe and get caught wearing your life jacket too!
Authored by: Joe Barefoot, M.B.