Today marks the first day of summer, and the DRPS Marine Unit would like to remind boaters to take proper safety precautions while out on the water this season. The Marine Unit goes out on daily patrol during high season, with public safety being their primary concern. This past weekend, the Marine Unit laid numerous charges while patrolling Lake Ontario, in which the majority of those involved were found without proper safety equipment, licences and documentation.
The Marine Unit patrols approximately 1,400 square kilometres of water, including Lake Ontario, Lake Scugog and Lake Simcoe with the use of two vessels - the 38' Hike, and the 26' Zodiac. DRPS would like you keep yourself and your passengers safe, and would like to remind boaters to follow proper safety rules and regulations at all times.
The majority of infractions that occur on our waterways are equipment related. This means that boaters are not carrying the appropriate floatation devices (in the appropriate sizes for passengers on board), ropes, bail cans, flashlights, etc. Accidents can happen in an instant, so it is important that you keep these items on board and easily accessible at all times. Another common infraction is not carrying the appropriate boating and/or fishing licences. It is important that all licences and registration documents are carried on board at all times.
And finally, a major area of concern, especially during holidays and long weekends, is the operation of vessels while under the influence. There is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to operating a boat or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impairment charges can lead not only to a loss of your boating license, but also your driver's licence. Members of the Marine Unit often perform RIDE checks on the water during those long weekends when boater volume increases.
The Marine Unit also regularly partakes in community events during the summer months, offering information to better educate the members of our community. They will be at Lakeview Park in Oshawa on Canada Day, educating the public about proper safety equipment, regulations appropriate to the size of the vessel, proper licensing and much more.
For a complete guide to boating rules and regulations in Canada, click here.
Marine Unit patrolling our waterways in the Zodiac. (JPG file, 214.0K bytes)
Marine Unit educating the public at a community event. (JPG file, 480.4K bytes)