On August 28, 2019, at approximately 5:45 p.m. the North Bay Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were called to a capsized boat in Callander Bay, Lake Nipissing, Ontario.
There were three males on board and their vessel was heavily loaded with construction material, as they were on route to an island camp. They were approximately one kilometer from shore when the boat started to take on water. The combination of strong winds and high waves caused the boat to flip over. Luckily, all three males made it to shore because there were only two lifejackets on board.
A 34-year-old male was charged with, “Permitting person to operate non-human-powered pleasure craft without personal floatation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person, contrary to section 204(a)(b) of the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) – Small Vessel Regulations (SVR)”.
The OPP would like to remind boaters that any vessel being underway that has any type of motor, requires the operator to possess a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) or proof of competency equivalence. And, any vessel on the water (even paddleboats, paddle boards, dinghy’s, inflatable floaties, and canoes) require all the necessary safety equipment on board.
The standard equipment includes:
- 15m floating heaving line
- watertight flashlight
- whistle – *must be Pealess* (or some type of sound signaling device, i.e. horn, or portable air horn, etc.)
- bailing bucket
- a paddle or an oar
- lifejackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) for every person on board (*self-inflating PFD’smust be worn*)
- and depending on the size of the vessel and motor being used, it may require proper flares and a fire extinguisher
Horsepower and age restrictions:
- under 12yrs. may operate a boat with up to 10hp
- 12yrs. – 16yrs. may operate a boat with up to 40hp
- under 16 yrs. regardless of supervision shall NOT operate a personal watercraft (sea doo, jet skis)
- 16yrs. and older, there are no horsepower restrictions
And, remember, impaired operation on the water carries the same fines and penalties as on the highway. Help keep our waterways safe for everyone. Should you observe a suspected impaired driver, please dial 911 or contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.
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