Now that boating season is here, Essex County OPP would like to remind the public of crucial marine safety tips and the possible consequences for not following the rules.
Police say on average over the past 10 years, 86 per cent of fatalities and boating collisions were as a result of lacking safety equipment. Almost 29 per cent of these occurred on Saturday’s and 92 per cent involved males.
Over the past seven years, 40 per cent were as a result of a boat capsizing and 40 per cent were due to someone falling overboard; 36 per cent involved kayaks or canoes and 37 per cent involved motorized boats.
The OPP in Essex County will be patrolling surrounding waterways 24/7, enforcing boating and marine laws.
Failing to follow the law could result in these fines:
- Operating a vessel if you are under age–$250
- Failing to have proof of competency on board–$250
- Failing to have the required pleasure craft licence on board–$250
- Operating a boat in a careless manner, without due care and attention for others—$350
- Operating a vessel with safety equipment not in good working order or not readily accessible and available for immediate use—$200
- Operating human-powered pleasure craft without PDF’s or lifejackets of appropriate size for each person on board—$200 (plus $100 for each PDF or lifejacket missing)
- Operating a vessel in an unsafe manner–$500
- Operating a vessel to tow a person on water or in air without a person on board other than the operation keeping watch on every person being towed—$250
The boating community is reminded that a zero tolerance approach will be taken with regards to the consumption of alcohol or drugs on our waterways and impaired driving due to alcohol or drugs, including cannabis, holds the same penalty as it does when operating a motor vehicle.
Police say the use of properly fitted and approved life jackets and personal flotation devices (PDF) is critical and will be monitored by our dedicated marine unit this and every season. For more information on PDF’s, you may visit www.wearalifejacket.com.
For more information regarding boating laws and requirements, you may visit www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety or you can contact the Essex County OPP Marine Unit.