Safe Boating - It's Just Common Sense
Hello Four Milers!
Now that summer is in full bloom, we should all be concerned with the ongoing promotion of SAFE BOATING on our little patch of water. In most cases it's just a matter of common sense, such as making sure you do not overload your boat while out on the Sunday afternoon cruise and also making sure you have a lifejacket that fits properly for everyone in the boat.
"No big deal," you say. "We always do that."
Great! But you're also required, even on a small lake like FM, to have other safety equipment on board your boat-such as a watertight flashlight, safety rope, paddles, manual water bailer-bucket, etc., and a signaling device like a whistle. All watercraft, including powerboats, PWC's, canoes, kayaks, sailboats and sailboards are required to comply. A complete list of required safety equipment for Power Boats and Personal Water Craft [PWC] can be found at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/BoatingSafety/equipment.htm
It is worthwhile to heed the advice of cottagers that have had the experience..."they have a "zero tolerance" policy on having the safety equipment...if the flashlight doesn't work, or the rope is the wrong length, you get the fine...or if (anyone) has improperly fitting or wrong weight-classification life jackets, you get the fine...And it's the driver of the boat (not the owner) who gets the ticket".
Soon everyone will require a Pleasure Craft Operator Card to operate your powerboat. If you were born after April 1, 1983; or you operate a pleasure craft fitted with a motor that is under 4m (13 feet) in length, you must have your PCOC now! Find out more about requirements, and how to get your Card at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety/oc-faq.htm
Also, be aware that the Ontario Government has implemented legislation recently that provides for stiff penalties for anyone caught operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. You now face the same penalties as motorists-your Ontario driver's license will be suspended OR if you are found to be legally impaired while operating a motor boat you WILL lose your driver's license for a year or more and face a hefty fine.
A sobering fact is that 40 per cent of all boating fatalities involve alcohol, according to Statistics Canada.
The City of Kawartha Lakes OPP will be patrolling Four Mile this summer as they have in the past. They are on the lake on our behalf to promote safety and law enforcement. The OPP now have several boats they can launch on the lake at any time as well as several PWC for enforcement purposes.
The FMLA encourages everyone to Boat safely this summer. Please respect other boaters and members of our lake community.
After all, it's only 'common sense'.
Have a great summer!
[FMLA Board of Directors, June/2006]