Boating safety update (July 5 2014)
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, there have been 11 boating fatalities already this season, 6 more deaths than were recorded in the same period in 2013.
Nine of the victims were not wearing lifejackets, underlining the importance of wearing your PFD while boating, otherwise it may not help you in the event of a mishap on the water.
Get on Board with the OPP – Important Information (pdf)
Marine Safety Tips – from OPP files:
- Always Wear your Lifejacket – If you don’t wear it, it won’t work. Examine PFDs and lifejackets for wear and tear and identify those that need replacing. If you have inflatable PFDs be sure to be familiar with their operating instructions.
- Check your Boat – Familiarize yourself with the boat you are operating. Check the condition of your vessel and ensure it is properly prepared for the boating season.
- Be Prepared – Mechanical breakdowns account for a significant number of calls for assistance to the Ontario Provincial Police. Most of these embarrassing incidents are preventable by ensuring your vessel is serviceable, you have sufficient gas. Part of being prepared is also making sure that the weather and water conditions are suitable for your day out on the water.
- Planning – Remember when things go wrong on the water, it happens very quickly and you don?t always have time to react. A prudent skipper always discusses his or her plans with a family member before they set out.
- Don’t Drink & Boat – It is unacceptable to drink and drive a motor vehicle and the same holds true for drinking and boating. If you are caught operating a vessel while impaired you will also loose your ability to operate your motor vehicle. ‘Don’t Drink and Boat’ Poster.
More information on Impaired Boating from the OPP
Bill 209 has given police services across Ontario another tool in their efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on our waterways.
This new legislation provides police officers with authority to suspend driver’s licences (12 hour suspension) and issue an 90 day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension (ADLS) if the boat operator registers a fail on a breath test.
Upon conviction of Impaired Operation of a Vessel or Operation in Excess 80 mgs. of alcohol, the courts now have the authority to suspend the persons driver’s licence for a minimum of one year. The Ignition Interlock Program will also apply when a conviction is registered.