Keep Lifejacket Onboard, Alcohol on Shore



Alcohol consumption and the lack of lifejackets are the biggest contributing factors to drownings over the summer.

With this in mind, officers from the Toronto Police Marine Unit will be out in full force to educate and enfore water safety laws over the long Victoria Day long weekend, Ontario’s unofficial start of summer.

“A lot of people are putting their boats in this weekend and we want to make sure they have all the equipment they need,” said Const. Kevin Lee. “If even you are going out for a test drive, you still have to have your lifejacket and all the other required safety equipment. Depending on the size of your boat, the more stuff you need.

“You don’t have to actually have your lifejacket on when you are in a boat. You have to have it in the boat, but that doesn’t help if you fall overboard. We want people to wear them once they enter a boat.”

Being plunged in the water at this time of year is especially dangerous due to low temperatures.

“Most people’s internal gauge of what water is supposed to feel like is not less than 10 celsisus, so you get a shock when you drop into cold water suddenly,” Lee said. “When that happens, you usually gasp for air. Doing that under water is not good.”

Lee reminded everyone to spread the word about water safety to make it a safe summer.

Boaters should always keep alcohol on shore and not take the helm if impaired by alcohol or drugs. 

In Ontario, the fines and penalties for a person who is impaired and boating are the same as those for a person who take the wheel of a car.

Learn more, read the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide here.

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