Summer is here in the Almaguin Highlands and with all the enjoyment the lakes and boating gives us we tend to forget the dangers. Tragedy can strike “in an instant” and all the joy wiped away. This past week end, on two area lakes, that is what happened and it prompted me to write about things we so often brush off as unnecessary or to much trouble . Listed are some points that I myself have done in the past…I will definitely rethink how I enjoy any boat ride from now on, not only for my safety but for others.
1) Life jackets…”I am a good swimmer just put them on the kids” If you are knock out of a boat you may lose consciousness and your life, whether you are a good swimmer or not.
2) “I have good balance and can stand up easily in a small boat or canoe” It may not only be your life you are dealing with but anyone else that may be in the small vessel when it capsizes.
3) This boat is huge no need to wear a life jacket or check safety equipment… what can happen? Even when you are on a large vessel hitting an hidden obstacle at high speed can eject the passengers and cripple the boat.
5) ALWAYS keep an eye on children in any boat…children are carefree not careless. A young girl fell of the back of a boat this past week end and was severely injured by the propeller.
Boating can be exciting, invigorating, relaxing and just plain fun but please always remember to be respectful of other watercraft and keep a close eye on passengers. Always wear a life jacket, be safe and be an example for others. Remember “in an instant”