Police want boaters to be prepared this long weekend
Published Friday, May 15, 2015 5:24PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 15, 2015 6:40PM EDT
With it expected to be a busy long weekend on the water, police have warnings for boaters.
York Regional Police want boaters to take the time to check over their boat and safety equipment before leaving the dock.
“We’ll stop people out here now and we’ll get the ‘well it’s my first out’ and yet they’ve got the entire family with them and they didn’t check to see that they had all their PFD’s on board. It’s that one time you’re in a hurry, that you are not paying attention enough that tragedy often strikes,” says Sgt. Chris Hylan with the York Regional Police Marine Unit.
The temperature of the water on Lake Simcoe was hovering around 10 C on Friday, cold enough to be deadly.
“When your body hits that water, you get that instant shock. It’s like when you’re in the bath or shower and you’ve got nice hot water and you accidentally hit the cold, first reaction you have is to gasp. The problem is if your head is under water, that first gasp may be your last one,” says Ted Rankine with the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
Twenty people died in boating accidents on OPP patrolled waterways in 2014, 17 of them were not wearing a life jacket which could have made a difference.
“People don’t wear life jackets because number one reason, they say I can swim. When the water is cold, all bets are off,” adds Rankine.
Police say 40% of boating deaths in Canada are alcohol related.
Police are also reminding boaters if you are caught drinking and driving on a boat, fines and punishments are the same as if you were driving a car.