- Coastal Protection
- Planning Issues
Nine people using inflatables, paddleboards, and a foam mat had to be rescued by OPP in Georgian Bay last week in four separate incidents. All of these incidents occurred when the water toys and paddleboards were blown too far away from shore and only one person was wearing a lifejacket. Police would like to remind the public of the hazards involved with using inflatable toys, paddleboards and other water based equipment. Here are a few important tips: Always wear a lifejacket. Know your limitations. Set a good example for your children. Check the weather and wind conditions. Conditions may appear smooth near the shoreline, but deteriorate the further you go out. Don't mix alcohol or drugs with water activities. Avoid distractions. Stay off your cellphone. Inflatable to
Questions, questions, questions…and you should find out the answers! The beginning of the cottage season brings a big to do list: fix everything that’s not working, a ton of spring cleaning, check your boating equipment, and change the batteries in your smoke detectors to name just a few. One other job you should add to your list is to do a comprehensive review of your insurance coverages. Fewer companies are offering cottage and boat insurance. Property values and building and repair costs have surged and prices for insurance are going up, but we strongly suggest this is something not to be skimped on. A lack of insurance can make a bad situation so much worse. Remember that Rice Insurance offers a 15% discount to all GBA members on all your insurance needs. You can also ask yo
What the heck are VORRs? VORRS are Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations. A Bit of Background... The federal government has exclusive legislative authority over navigation in all Canadian waters. The Canada Shipping Act (CSA) 2001 governs shipping and navigation in Canadian waters. Part 10 of the Act is specific to pleasure craft. The Minister of Transport is responsible for the administration of this Act. More details... One of the regulations under the CSA 2001 that affect pleasure craft is the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR’s). VORR’s allow any level of government (federal, provincial, municipal or territorial etc.) to ask the federal government to restrict the use of commercial or recreational vessels on any Canadian waters to promote safety, pro
As many head out on the waters for the first long weekend of the season, Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) wants you to be prepared when you hop in your boat. - This year the CSBC has 5 key focuses to promote safe and responsible boating practices when you’re on the water this season: - Wear Your lifejacket - the majority of recreational boating related deaths in Canada continue to involve individuals who were not wearing a PFD (80%+) and sadly most of these fatalities were avoidable. Boat Sober – the use of any intoxicants (alcohol, cannabis, prescription drugs) is both irresponsible and illegal. Be prepared, You and Your Vessel – make sure you and your boat are properly equipped for your activities. Take a Boating Course – our waterways will be very busy
It’s a beautiful sunny day. And you or your family or your guests can’t wait to get on the water. The canoe is just sitting there on the dock so what better way to spend the afternoon on the water than to hop in a canoe, get a tan and soak in nature. There’s no motor, people will be close to shore so what could go possibly wrong - even if the people in the canoe are totally inexperienced? But the fact is that troubling numbers have emerged about the use of canoes and the drowning fatalities associated with them. It seems that people look at canoes as one of the safest on water activities. But nothing could be further from the truth. Last year’s OPP fatality data showed canoes as the vessel type with the most drownings at 10 of the 27 that occurred or 37%. In 2020 the results
Last year in Ontario there were 1,198 wildland fires – with approximately 793,325 hectares of forests burned - a record. This number includes a 200,000-hectare fire, the largest since the province started keeping statistics in 1960. Each year about half of all wildland fires are caused by people. The Ontario government is ready to respond to this year’s wildland fire season, which lasts from April 1 until October 31. Ontario’s resources to fight wildland fires include: Up to 800 fire rangers with the ability to bring in more as needed, and a support staff of more than 500 A fleet of specialized aircraft used to suppress wildland fires and transport staff across the province nine water bombers six twin otters five turbo beavers and eight helicopters use
Fantastic news for Georgian Bay boaters! Transport Canada has issued a Tier 1 Policy to accept electronic visual distress signal devices (eVDSD) in lieu of traditional pyrotechnic distress signals (flares) in an effort to improve pleasure craft safety. The policy, which applies only to pleasure craft, came into force on November 9th, 2021 and will be reviewed in five years. Small Vessel Regulations currently require all pleasure craft longer than six metres to carry pyrotechnic distress signals unless: they are operating on a river, canal or lake in which they can at no time be more than one nautical mile from shore; or they have no sleeping arrangements and are engaged in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition The Burning Issues with Tr
It's National Drowning Prevention Week and the Lifesaving Society is encouraging all persons venturing out on a vessel or going for a swim to be "water smart". Take a moment to view the following links and hopefully help avoid a water tragedy this summer. If Holly can wear her lifejacket - maybe you should too! - Do you know the difference between a lifejacket and PFD? Great information on these lifesavers can be found here. The Red Cross also has summer water safety tips that can be found here. - With the increased number of new boating enthusiasts this year, officers will be out trying to educate operators about safe boating on Georgian Bay and the surrounding waterways. The new Weather to Boat app can provide you with marine weather and vessel equipment tips. Always remember if you
Time to Put Away the Bird Feeder! - The area bear population is up and about which means that some bears, in their quest to locate food, will wander into urban and rural properties that have outdoor food sources such as bird feeders, insecure garbage containers and unkempt BBQ's to name a few. - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) would like to remind residents that most human-bear encounters occur when bears are attracted by smells, so removing potential attractants will help avoid unwarranted visitors. Knowing what to do if you come across a bear, as not every bear sighting is an emergency situation - and keeping your property free of bear attractants - is being Bear Wise. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKAmIh7U19c Reduc
Unintentional calls to 9-1-1 happen when a mobile device carried in a pocket, purse, backpack, or other piece of clothing accidently activates the keypad which initiates an emergency call. Also, many accidental calls occur when young children are playing with cell phones. Bracebridge OPP officers responded to almost 400 pocket dials and unintentional 9-1-1 calls during the first three weeks of July 2019 alone. Between September 9th and 22nd 2019 the Southern Georgian Bay detachment OPP responded to 94 false calls to the 9-1-1 system. In 2018 Southern Georgian Bay OPP responded to 1,358 false 911 calls. This is a serious problem because it ties up police resources and can take away from real emergencies where precious seconds may be taken away from someone who really needs help. Fo
Unintentionally inhibiting someone else’s enjoyment of the water can be stressful for everyone involved. Make sure you know and follow the laws whenever you are on the water. A refresher can be found here.
Another summer will fast be upon us. And with that should come thoughts as to what we can do to protect our little pieces of paradise. Here are some of the basics that you really should undertake to protect your property, and more importantly, your family and guests. The fire season is starting earlier, lasting longer and is more intense. Wildfires can spread at an astonishing rate. Forest fires can speed through a crown of trees at 15 kilometers per hour. Remember that while wildfires can be a natural phenomenon started by lightning, 90% of all wildfires that start within 3 kms of our communities are attributed to human activity. The best protection against loss, damage or injury is prevention. But there are also things you can do to reduce the risk should a wildfire occur. The FireSm
Boating from October through June offers a very different experience steeped in solitude and excellent fishing. It is a beautiful time to be on the water. But boating during this season also requires extra attention to detail and the ability to be self-sufficient given that there are fewer boaters around should you require assistance. Here are some helpful tips from the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters to make off-season boating safer for you. Check the weather forecast. The weather can change quickly and storms can be more violent. Fog is also more common. Ensure that your boat and engine are in good working order. Ethanol-based fuel can allow water contamination in the tank. The use of a fuel additive prevents water in the f
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. 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 association’s 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
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 can’t 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. 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 doesn’t 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. They were sourced using the online applications, BOATsmart and Shield Basic Ontario and the web site of Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 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 Cottagers’ 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 car’s 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 – 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 a 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, there’s always the joy of taking a pleasure cruise out as far as possible before sinking the anchor and simply taking in the sunshine. When you’ve 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 it’s 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 you’re out on the water at the cottage this summer and every summer: