Start Your Summer on the Water Safely

Before you get out on the water, make a plan to stay safe.

With the Victoria Day weekend being considered the unofficial start of summer and sun seekers flooding the province’s waterways, Const. Kevin Lee of the Toronto Police Service Marine Unit issued the reminder along with other safety tips.

Before embarking on any journey on the water, he said boaters are required to follow a safety checklist.

“They include knowing the weather forecast, vessel conditions, checking the fuel levels and ensuring the drain plugs are back in place,” Lee pointed out. “You also need to check you safety equipment to ensure you have everything you need to keep you safe on the water, especially if you get into trouble.”

He also said that wearing a lifejacket could eliminate up to 90 per cent of boat-related drownings.

“Wear yours and have a sail plan,” he added. “Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you are going to be back. Give the vessel description as well as your planned route of travel. Also, let your guest and crew know what to do in case of an emergency.”

Visit the Transport Canada Boating Safety website for more information.

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