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Prepare for boating season

The upcoming summer months means more Oshawa residents will be taking out their boats – whether it be kayaks or sailboats – and bringing them to a lake, looking to take in some sunshine and ride the waves. Just remember to bring lifejackets too.

With eight boating deaths in 2016 in the waters it patrols, the Ontario Provincial Police is reminding boaters of all skills to bring their lifejackets. Of those eight deaths, none were wearing lifejackets.

The OPP is also cautioning against drinking while boating, as it was likely a factor in all but one of the incidents resulting in death so far this year.

“A significant number of the boating deaths we investigate every year involve canoes and kayaks. Because the victims were not wearing a lifejacket, the majority of them died either because they could not swim, the water was too cold or they were impaired by alcohol or drugs,” states Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, commander of the OPP’s traffic safety and operational support unit.

“I cannot stress enough how significantly a properly worn lifejacket improves your chance of survival when you are in any type of boat and suddenly find yourself in the water.”

The OPP is calling on boaters to do so safely, and if they suspect someone is operating a boat – no matter what kind – while impaired to call 911 immediately.