(ORILLIA, ON) – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachments within the OPP Central Region are warning boaters that although the ice may be gone from area lakes, extreme caution must be used when returning your boat to the water.
With water temperatures still being very cold, a personal floatation device (PFD) or a floatation suit should be worn at all times. Hypothermia can and will set in very quickly should you fall into the water and at least with a PFD or floatation suit you may have a chance in surviving such an incident.
Boaters are also reminded that many area lakes may still have some floating ice or objects such as logs or other debris that may cause damage to your vessel.
Chief Superintendent John Tod, Regional Commander of the OPP Central Region says “caution and responsible boating must be exercised at all times of the year, but with a delayed start to this year’s boating season, there is no place for compromising safety especially when it comes to water related activities”.
Inspector Dom Beckett, Manager of the OPP Central Region Traffic and Marine Unit is asking boaters “to make sure that all required safety and lighting equipment is tested before heading out onto the water. The Safe Boating Guide which is published by Transport Canada is an excellent resource that clearly identifies what equipment each size of boat is required to have”. This resource is also available online at http://www.boatingsafety.gc.ca.