Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
10:14 PM EDT
2014-08-02 at 15:42

Safety on the water

Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Close by isn’t close enough.

That’s the message the OPP and coast guard want to deliver to boaters and jet skiers this weekend, imploring the public to wear lifejackets when on the water.

The failure to heed the call has already cost six people their lives in Northwestern Ontario this summer, unnecessary deaths said OPP spokeswoman Const. Diana Cole.

“Our underwater search and recovery officers have indicated that all of the drowning victims that they have recovered have not been wearing lifejackets or personal floatation devices. So wear it,” Cole said. “To have it in the boat and not on doesn’t make any sense. Put it on.”

While not illegal not to wear one, they do save lives, Cole added.

And they aren’t the bulky lifejackets of the past, she said.

“There are so many different styles of lifejackets right now. They’re in bright colours. There are styles for every activity out there – boating, canoeing kayaking, for sea-doos. There’s no reason anyone shouldn’t have one on when they’re out there on the water.”

Even the most cautious boater can wind up in trouble in a hurry.

“Anything can happen in a matter of seconds. And that doesn’t allow you enough time to grab your lifejacket to put it on,” Cole said. “And we know that for a fact, that’s in many of the circumstances involving drowning deaths.”

As the holiday weekend hits, police are also reminding boaters to leave the booze behind.

Operation Dry Water was put in place to remind the public that it’s just as dangerous to drink and boat as drinking and driving.

“And the penalties are the same,” Cole said.

Penalties include fines, the potential loss of your driver’s licence and possibly even jail time.

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JoeBush says:
Everyone has a right to speak their mind and should also be permitted to exercise reasonable judgment when it comes to activity and safety. There's a time and place for everything. To those who feel it's absolutely necessary to wear a PFD on water, I ask this question:

If and when you go swimming, do you wear a PFD? If not, why? You're actually one step closer to drowning if you're already in the water right?

We have become such a coddled society that we can't do anything without having redundant fail-safe devices and/or procedures incorporated into our activities. If people want to wear a PFD, have at it. For those who don't feel it's necessary in any given circumstance, they shouldn't be forced nor expected to wear one.

A good example of intrusive governing is the requirement to have a Pleasure Craft Operators card to operate a boat. I've been running outboard boats for decades. I do have my card. Am I any safer because of it? Nope. I was plenty safe before....
8/6/2014 5:04:10 PM
Mazda323 says:
Not only would your family like closure, the rest of us would rather not stumble across your decomposing remains on a beach somewhere. Not only that, once you are recovered and identified, there is no misconception that you may be a murder victim or someone who has just "disappeared" without a trace. Being recovered may not mean much to you, you're dead after all, but don't be selfish, and think about the rest of us for a change.
Thank you.
8/5/2014 11:42:39 PM
eddylives says:
Why do some people think the police should only enforce laws and not recommend new ones?
You must realize that they are on the front lines and see what is happening every shift they work.
As the world changes the laws evolve....look at the history behind existing laws and open your eyes....they happen for good reason lol
8/5/2014 8:50:26 AM
petrie says:
Wow. Are you people even real?

"The job of the police is to enforce the laws as they are written. They are not to politicize issues, form collective opinions, nor lobby politically in any way shape or form."

Actually, the job of the police is to enforce safe behavior, written or otherwise, and as human beings (which believe it or not, many of them are) they care about whether or not your family gets a phone call saying your body is missing in a lake.

People go into medical distress. People can go into the water, and suddenly forget how to swim. Canoes/small boats can flip and hit your head. People have heart attacks, seizures, dizzy spells and before you know it are out of the "safe, stable boat." It happens, and it happens quick.

They are not preaching. They are not telling you what to do. If they were, it would be a law. They are simply spreading the awareness that wearing a life jacket could save your life, as too many unnecessary deaths have been caused by not having one on.
8/4/2014 11:43:33 PM
JoeBush says:
I have a problem with law enforcement/government imposing unnecessary restrictions, laws, rules and regulations supposedly to protect me from myself and every potential peril that life might throw at me. We are increasingly becoming a dumbed down, overly protected society.

I'm not saying to throw caution to the wind, however I say that we should be allowed to exercise our own judgement when or when not to wear a PFD. If I'm sitting in a boat on a calm warm summer evening fishing, why would I want to wear a PFD? If the weather turns sour and/or water temperatures are dangerously low, it would be prudent to put on a PFD. In addition, when under way, it might also be advisable to do so in case of an mishap at speed.

In addition, when children are involved, every precaution must be taken to ensure their safety and wearing a PFD sets the example. Despite my reluctance to wear a PFD at all times, all children and non-swimmers who get into my boat are required to wear one.

8/4/2014 9:21:13 PM
mystified says:
Tough guys...lol.
Don't tell me what to do or how to do it.
Some of the comments on here make my head spin. So much negativity regarding a word of advice turns into a police bashing fest. 99% of the commentors on this site don't do 80% of the topics discussed. Go to your coffee shop buddies and do your tough talking.
I'd rather live to see another day and I'm sure my family would like to have a body to put to rest. I'm sure the family of the man who went missing on the Kam a few months ago would like to have closure.
8/4/2014 5:38:09 PM
807daisy says:
Of course it is necessary! Nobody wants to find a body while out swimming, boating, fishing. And wait for it, most families do want the body of their loved ones for closure, and burial/cremation. Or perhaps you don't care to give your family that so that you can have the right to be fish food.
8/4/2014 9:44:56 AM
Winger says:
And nobody wants to be continuously told what to do or what they want by other people.

If you want to sit in a rock solid boat in perfect weather conditions wearing a life jacket thats your choice. Stop telling others how they should live their lives.

and yes, the OPP need to drop this. they have been pushing this for years and using public dollars to push forth their own opinion and agenda. not cool!

just do your jobs.
8/4/2014 1:05:21 PM
807daisy says:
Zelig - in Canada, you are free to live or end your life as you please. Unfortunately the first responders don't know your beliefs. They can't pull out a body and just go home saying "glad my shift is over"! Put on the PFD, suck it up, and enjoy your day, and hopefully you can live to enjoy the next day!
8/3/2014 11:17:34 PM
807daisy says:
Along with the agree button on these comments I think there should be a disagree button because I would click on that in response to Secret Squirrel. If the safety message makes even one person think twice and it saves their life the effort was worth it. Not only because it could save a life but because it would not be necessary to have an underwater dive and recovery operation. Thankfully there are people to do the terrible job of recovering a body but imagine what they think about at the end of their day? And where in the article did it mention they are trying to create a new law - and what would be the problem if it was a law when you agree with their message?
8/3/2014 9:17:41 AM
zelig says:
If I could be free to choose what, if any, risks I take with my life, I'd gladly surrender any purported right to have my body recovered. Is that service really 'necessary' as you suggest or just something that you feel we are all entitled to? I choose freedom and self-governance over being babysat and scolded by people who think I'm incapable of making my own informed decisions.
8/3/2014 2:14:36 PM
Secret Squirrel says:
While I totally agree with their message I do not believe they should be preaching it in the first place.

The job of the police is to enforce the laws as they are written. They are not to politicize issues, form collective opinions, nor lobby politically in any way shape or form.

Thanks for caring OPP, we know you are sincere in your efforts, but please just focus on the laws we have, stop trying to create one.
8/2/2014 6:52:07 PM
Common Cents says:
As a lifetime boater and fisherman, as a child I was made to wear a life jacket until I learned to swim, and swim well. After that and and learning common sense from my parents, I would wear a life jacket when conditions or situations called for it. Most should know what those conditions are. Water conditions including water temperature, stability of watercraft too name a few.

they are trying to make it a law .

We have enough Laws in this country.

Why do we not have a law that before you roll out of bed in the morning you must put a helmet on. Do you know how many people die or have serious head injuries every day in Ontario?

Live and let Live. Common cents goes along way!
8/3/2014 1:04:52 PM
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