The Bracebridge OPP are warning early season boaters to watch out for debris and make sure they have the proper safety equipment in place as waterways open up for navigation.
Though many lakes are still mostly ice covered, the recent surge of melt water will likely begin to break up the ice pack and open waterways to navigation, according to the warning. OPP want to remind boaters that the thaw and recent flooding has left large amounts of debris floating in the lakes. Timbers from broken structures, trees and other debris will be scattered across the lakes and may be hard to see when partially submerged. Striking debris poses a serious hazard and can be catastrophic to a vessel and its passengers, so if you must venture out onto the water, OPP urge you to on the lookout for debris and ensure your vessel’s safety equipment is in place and functioning properly.
Those boating alone should tell someone their plan, where they’re going and when they expect to return, according to the warning. Police also want to remind residents to dress appropriately for the weather and remember that life jackets work best when they’re worn.