OPP Provide Water Safety Tips For National Drowning Prevention Week

OPP Marine officers
Photo courtesy of the OPP

The Huronia West and Nottawasaga Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want to remind everyone to expect the unexpected and to always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) when enjoying our waterways.

Please stay tuned to OPP social media accounts this week as they will be posting videos each day in support of drowning prevention awareness week. The OPP is reminding all boaters, and anyone heading out on the waterways, to always wear a PFD when out on the water.

“A life jacket stored somewhere on a boat will not help you if you somehow fall into the water or get knocked out of your boat,” said Sgt. Dave Moffatt, Provincial Marine Coordinator for the OPP. “Safety is paramount when it comes to recreational activities on the water, and the proper wearing of a PFD at all times will enhance surviving an unfortunate incident that may occur. Essentially, expect the unexpected and be prepared.”

Photo courtesy of the OPP

In 2023, 11 lives have been lost on OPP-patrolled waterways. Over the past 13 years, 300 lives have been lost on OPP-patrolled waterways, with 256 (88 per cent) of the incidents involving the individual not wearing a PFD.

Marine officers within the OPP Central Region take water safety very seriously and stop vessels daily, to ensure that the necessary equipment is onboard. The law with regards to PFDs is simple: for every person on a boat, there must be a PFD. Failure to do so can result in a fine which starts at $200. Please review the Canada Shipping Act of 2001 for more valuable information.

If you go out onto the water, please wear a PFD at all times, as this could make a difference in your safe return to shore should you encounter a problem on the water. Enjoy your summer, and be safe!

For more information, check out the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide.


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