Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police partnered with the Ministry of Natural Resources over the weekend for joint marine patrols.
Several area lakes were patrolled both north and east of Sault Ste. Marie.
One Small Vessel Regulation charge was laid for not having a life jacket; one for having open liquor contrary to the Liquor Licence Act, and two charges were laid under the Fisheries Act for fishing without a licence.
The Ontario Provincial Police would also like to remind boaters that the water temperature in the lakes and rivers is still very cold this time of year. A person’s survival rate will be decreased if they are thrown into the water and they are not wearing a lifejacket. The first rule of safety is to always ensure everyone on-board is wearing a PFD before heading out because putting on a lifejacket in the water is a difficult task, particularly in frigid water conditions.
People make the false assumption that if they can swim, they don’t need a lifejacket. But in these cold water conditions a sudden immersion can cause shock, involuntary gasping and deep hyperventilation. This is followed by cold incapacitation and, in a short time, muscles, nerves in the limbs get cold and a person quickly will lose the ability to self-rescue or even swim. Many people die within swimming distance of safety, such as a boat, dock or the shore, because of the initial effects of cold water immersion.
The Ontario Provincial Police urges all boaters to “think safety first” when out on the water.