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Police remind boaters to be diligent, safe over Victoria Day weekend

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It may not be as warm as some people would like, but the temperature likely won't stop thousands of people from hitting Lake Simcoe this long weekend.

As such, police are reminding boaters to be extra diligent for the unofficial start of the summer.

"Fishermen have been out since the ice left, but I think we're going to see some pleasure craft operators coming out this weekend," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Busby with the York Regional Police Marine Unit. " If you were to place the city of Toronto on Lake Simcoe, it's an island, so it is a very, very big body of water. The water can kick up the waves quite quickly, the wind picks up quickly, and I think sometimes people just don t realize just how dangerous Lake Simcoe can be."

Staff Sgt. Busby reminds people the water temperature is only about nine degrees.

The marine unit has posted new signs for anyone near the water this summer. With 40% of fatal crashes involving boats connected to impaired boating, the police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are working together to educate people on the water.

A photo of a sign that York Regional Police will be displaying across Lake Simcoe this weekend, taken on Thurs., May 18 (Rob Cooper/CTV News)."They should be aware that the criminal code is the same, so if you're nailed with impaired driving a boat, you are an impaired driver," said Cathy Mitchell, MADD York Region. "So you do lose your licence, and you face all of those same infractions that the criminal code faces."

 

MADD reminds people one person is killed and four people are injured by an impaired driver every day in Canada. Police remind people they will be out on the water and checking to ensure everyone has their proper safety gear.  

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