The 2019 North American Safe Boating Awareness Week ( SBAW) Campaign is ramping up for this year's boating season. Since 1995, this campaign which is organized by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC ), has been the mainstay of boating safety outreach to the over 16 million people who recreate on Canadian waters each season. The 2019 campaign will be no exception as they continue to strive to engrain safe and responsible boating practices as second nature on the water. The purpose of Safe Boating Awareness Week is to provide boaters, as they prepare to embark on another boating season, some key reminders that will help to keep them safe on the water throughout the season. At the core of the 2019 campaign are the 5 key messages that the CSBC has been consistently delivering to the
From the OPP for Bracebridge (BRACEBRIDGE, ON) - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Bracebridge Detachment are issuing a warning to early season boaters. Â Although many of our lakes are still mostly ice covered, the recent surge of melt water will likely begin to break up the ice pack and open the waterways to navigation. OPP wish to remind boaters that theÂ thaw, combined withÂ recent flooding, has left a massive amount of debris floating in the lakes. Timbers from broken structures, trees, and other debris will be scattered across the lakes and may be very difficult to see when partially submerged. Striking debris poses a serious hazard and can be catastrophic to a vessel and its passengers. If you must venture out onto the water, please be on the lookout for such debris
Check out this map, which is updated daily, for flood warnings in your area. -
All GBA members can take advantage of special offers from these proud supporters of GBA: Rice Insurance, Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), and Action First Aid. Check for an important update on Coleman and Stearns products through CSBC âŚ here -
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada between 25 and 30 Canadians die in ice-related incidents each year. Many more have to be rescuedâŚ read more - As the weather gets colder those of us that use our cottages in the winter often want to venture out onto the ice. - Ice safety is just as important as the safety measures that we follow in the summer. - The most dangerous time to be on the ice is in early winter and late spring when the ice is the most unstable. - It is critical to know the waters where you will be on the ice as it can impact how strong the ice is. - Know how thick the ice is. Avoid slushy ice, untracked ice or ice near moving water or dock bubblers. - Is the water shallow or deep? Are there currents? What has the recent weather been
Here is the update on OPP investigated boating fatalities for 2018. So why should people be aware of this? Since we began reporting this, over the last two years there are at least 50 people that would be alive had they listened to the lessons these senseless tragedies impart. Planning ahead before youâre on the water could make all the difference. 2018 was another year of senseless tragedies on Ontarioâs waters. While the number of fatalities did decline from last year there were still 19 incidents that claimed 23 lives. Saturday and Mondays were the worst days of the week with 7 and 5 accidents respectively. 20 incidents occurred in the afternoon to midnight. June was the worst month with 8 fatalities, July had 3, August had 2, September had 3, and October had 5. A bit of
Bill C45 made recreational cannabis legal on Oct 17, 2018. Concurrently bill C46 was passed which updates the countryâs impaired driving laws. So what does this mean for boaters?Â Read moreâŚ - First of all,Â boating while impaired by drugs wasnât allowed before C46 and isnât now. - The legislation is new, so there are still many issues to work out. But here's what we know so far? - You must be 19 years of age to possess cannabis in Ontario. - You are allowed to transport small amounts of cannabis in your boat but it must be in a closed container and/or not readily available to anyone in the boat. Usage is not allowed in a vehicle or boat while being driven, or while under someone elseâs control. - Use is allowed in boats that are moored or anchored and meet certain criteria,
On November 15th 2018, Justice Peter West made an historic ruling in the ongoing trial of David Sillers where Mr. Sillers is facing charges in relation to the death of 8 year old Thomas Raincourt. In April of last year, Thomas died when the canoe he was in tipped over and he went over High Falls in Muskoka.Â Mr. Sillers, who was also in the canoe, is alleged to have been legally impaired. At issue was whether a canoe (or any human powered vessel ) is legally a vessel in drinking and boating charges. The Criminal Code has been unclear about which vessels are subject to impaired driving laws. The Canada Shipping Act , however, clearly defines a vessel ( and includes all human powered vessels ). The prosecution argued that the court could import the definition of a vessel from the Canada
This invasiveÂ speciesÂ has now spread from the Great Lakes into the Muskoka Lakes.Â This is one of the reasons why it is important for everyone toÂ âClean, Drain and Dryâ when moving a boat from one water body to another. The Spiny Water FleaÂ has been interfering with the Georgian Bay food web for many years. Read more here. THE GEORGIAN BAY ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN POSTING THE "CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY YOUR BOAT" POSTERS AT MANY WATER ACCESS POINTS THIS PAST SUMMERÂ TO HELP REMIND BOATERS.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Conservation Officer Association (OCOA) want to remind all boaters enjoying the fall season on the water to follow a few helpful tips to ensure that their excursions are both safe and enjoyable. Read the press release or visit their website for more information.
We have just received word from the Office of Boating Safety of Transport Canada that the Small Vessel Regulation changes we have been writing about have become law. The details of the regulations affectingÂ flare carriage requirementsÂ andÂ stand up paddleboards andÂ boat licensingÂ respectively are available in articles in the Boating and Safety section of the website. Check it out!
As many of you know Transport Canada had proposed some changes to the Small Vessel Regulations.Â The changes pertain to Flare Carriage Requirements and Boat Licensing and Stand Up Paddleboards.Â We have addressed the flare and licensing topics in previous notes. The good news is that Stand Up Paddle Boards have now been added to the list of recreational sealed-hull vehicles like paddleboats, watercycles, and sit-on-top kayaks and so, if each person on board is wearing a properly sized life jacket or PFD, you will now only have to carry a sound signaling device (ie a whistle attached to the PFD) and, if out before dawn or after sunset, a watertight flashlight. If PFDs are not present you must also carry a 15 meter buoyant heaving line. So clearly the changes are designed to encourag
Here are some things to think about around Fire Safety at the cottage: Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are present and working. Have a list of local emergency numbers posted for all to see. Include all pertinent cottage location information. Â Have the right fire extinguishers in the right places. Have an individual fire plan for evacuation. Make sure your plan has two escape routes. Respect local fire ratings. Have a fire pump and use it regularly to ensure it is in good working order. At the very least have a list of neighbours to call for assistance. Follow your associationâs emergency plan if it exists. Make sure you have insurance. Make sure you understand what it covers and that it is adequate to rebuild and covers contents AND fire de
This year GBA has arranged a free supply of these signs for all GBA associations to place on dock ramps and at marinas to help stem the spread of invasive species between water bodies. This yearâs campaign is styled: Be a Hero; Transport Zero - How to âBe a Hero, Transport Zeroâ Â It only takes one person to create a problem. Â Most boaters and anglers in Georgian Bay and Northern Lake Huron know that zebra mussels, round gobies, spiny water fleas, Eurasian milfoil and other invasive species harm the environment. But not everyone is doing something about it. Boaters and anglers ignoring the spread of invasive species threaten the local economies along Georgian Bay which rely heavily on tourism, recreation, commerce and real estate. âBe a Hero, Transport Zeroâ is a campai
Before we have another dry summer, GBA has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to review their forest fire rating system and protocols to reduce the risk of future fires. We do not want to see a repeat of the Henvey Inlet (Parry Sound 33) fire that devastated ~12,000 hectares of ecologically important Georgian Bay coastal habitat and destroyed 6 cottages. Read moreâŚ -
Large wakes continue to be a bone of contention. They cause damage to docks and shorelines and can be very disruptive to cottagers enjoyment of their docks. What can be done? The occasional disruption and damage caused by excessive wakes are an ongoing source of irritation between boaters and cottagers. Boaters are responsible for their wakes and any damage caused by them. But the OPP tells us that damage caused by wakes is a civil issue. And so what you need to do is be able to identify the vessel and the operator and pursue the matter in small claims court if a reasonable result canât be agreed upon between the parties on their own. However, if a boater is observed to be operating their vessel in a dangerous or careless way then the OPP should be called. They ideally would like t
This past summer there seemed to be a search & rescue operation happening and it left many cottagers confused about what was going on.Â The questions were about what to do in a situation like that - where to get information, and potentially how to help. When involved in a current investigation the OPP generally will not disseminate info through the media. They most often feel they have the resources to adequately conduct a search. Note that, if the OPP does ask the public for assistance, they are civilly liable if a member of the public gets injured while searching, and so tend not to involve the public. If the OPP is not successful then they will ask the public for assistance through media channels. If people have questions they can call the OPP non emergency ( 1 800-310-1122 ) num
Do you know what your boat insurance covers? I just found out that mine doesnât cover environmental damage/clean up charges. If there is damage done to the environment from your boat in any way ( spills or collisions or whatever ), the government, whether they clean it up or bring in a private contractor, will bill the owner of each boat involved. Under the Marine Liability Act the responsibility for costs associated with spill clean up resides strictly with vessel owners. And that can be expensive. My wake up call about environmental coverage serves as a reminder that it is a good thing to review the coverage you have on your boat. The following are some of the points you might want to consider. But remember these are general points only. You must discuss and confirm you have the
Here is an outline of boating (vessel) offence excerpts from the Criminal Code, Canada Shipping Act and Ontario Liquor License Act.Â They were sourced using the online applications, BOATsmart and Shield Basic Ontario and the web site of Ontario Ministry of Transportation.Â Read here.
What to do about missing or out of place channel markers, faded reflectors, etc. If you notice a missing or out of place channel marker, damaged red triangle or black square or faded reflectors on any of these you should report this information to the Canadian Coast Guard in Parry Sound. You should include as much information as possible including buoy numbers, name of channel or specific location and details of the problem you are reporting. Written notes can be sent to; Canadian Coast Guard Supervisor Operations, Aids to Navigation, 28 Waubeek street, Parry Sound, ON, P2A 1B9 or phoned into 705-773-4322
The Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Federation of Ontario Cottagersâ Associations have compiled the following list of 10 Safety Tips to remind people to make safety a priority getting to and while at the cottage. Here are the top 10 safety tips as you prepare to head up to the cottage, and after you get there. Check your carâs lights, signals, tire pressure and fluids before the trip to the cottage. Check your first-aid kit and replace any missing supplies. Check and maintain cottage smoke detectors and CO detectors. Check the condition of boat(s), including fuel lines and tanks. Check that all required safety equipment is on board and in good repair. Remove dry leaves and debris from the cottage roof and/or eavestroughs to reduce fire risk. Prepare for extreme
Responsibilities of Cottage Owners who rent or lend cottage boats. First, check with your insurance company â are there any issues? If a cottage owner still chooses to make a boat available to a person renting a cottage they should be aware...
Here is aÂ link to a great short video our friends at Safe Quiet Lakes produced on Boat Noise.
By Cottage Life A joy of cottage life often involves walking down to the dock and taking the boat out to indulge in a variety of activities like fishing, parasailing, or water skiing. For the less active among us, thereâs always the joy of taking a pleasure cruise out as far as possible before sinking the anchor and simply taking in the sunshine. When youâve got a boat, there are multiple ways to take advantage of our great summer weather on our rivers and lakes. Our summers may be short, but itâs important to take the time to ensure your boating experiences are both fun and safe, so you and your family can enjoy time together on the water for many summers to come. Here are 5 tips you should follow when youâre out on the water at the cottage this summer and every summer: