OPP Report Tragic Start To May With Two Paddler Deaths In Separate Boating Incidents
May Off To Tragic Start With Two Paddler Deaths In Separate Boating Incidents
Boating Safety Remains Priority during COVID-19 Pandemic
(ORILLIA, ON) - After responding to two separate marine incidents over the weekend, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported the death of a kayaker on May 1, 2020 and that of a canoeist the following day (May 2, 2020).
Life Jackets Essential To Prevent Drowning
Both incidents occurred in the evening and neither of the victims was wearing a life jacket when their vessels capsized.
The fatalities bring the number of 2020 marine deaths on OPP-patrolled waterways to three. The first incident of the season occurred on March 23, 2020 when a motorized vessel passenger fell overboard without a life jacket.
These latest deaths underscore the importance of wearing a life jacket, regardless of the type of vessel, especially early in the season when water temperatures are frigid and hypothermia can set in quickly.
Capsized vessels and falling overboard remain leading contributing factors in boating fatalities on OPP-patrolled waterways.
Boaters should be aware that some municipalities have closed public boat ramps, and marinas are currently only providing services permitted by O. Reg. 82/20 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). Boat ramps that are part of marinas are only permitted to be open in compliance with the restrictions on marinas in O. Reg. 82/20.
In municipalities where public boat ramps are not closed, boaters are reminded to:
- Limit organized public events or social gatherings in a marine vessel or at a boat launch facility to no more than five (5) persons (unless all persons are members of a single household).
- Always wear your life jacket.
- Ensure you have the required safety equipment on board.
- Never go boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Check the weather and water temperature before you head out.
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