As temperatures start to climb marine enthusiasts look forward to a long and enjoyable season on area waterways. With the May long weekend approaching, boaters are urged to consider that increased congestion on the water can mean increased risk if boaters don’t exercise courtesy and observe restricted speed zones.
Boats are varied in their size and configuration. Larger vessels need more space to manoeuvre and greater distances to stop. In addition, larger vessels tend to have blind spots that can limit the operator’s view of smaller vessels operating nearby. Persons operating these larger boats must also be mindful of the wake potential of their craft. A large wake can easily upset smaller craft and can cause property damage along shorelines.
Boating Restriction Regulations limit speed to 10 km/hr when operating within 30 metres of shore. For the safety of all persons sharing the waterways, maintain a respectful distance from other boats and allow enough room to correct your course. Recognize that your boat’s handling characteristics will vary depending upon speed, wind and water conditions. Find an open area to familiarize yourself with the handling of your boat and take time to review safety procedures like recovering an overboard person.
Common sense and courtesy are key components in maintaining safe waterways. Consider taking a Boating Safety Course to attain a deeper knowledge of the rules of navigation. Upon successful completion of the course you will be issued a Marine Operator’s Competency Card.
The OPP is committed to ensuring Ontario’s waterways are a safe, family oriented place to recreate. Snowmobile ATV Vessel Enforcement Unit (SAVE) will be conducting marine patrols late into the fall. Citizens with specific, localized concerns are encouraged to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Have a safe and enjoyable marine season!