Police reminding boaters to wear life-jackets ahead of long weekend
A Toronto police officer is seen in a marine unit boat on Thursday morning.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:04AM EDT
Toronto police are holding a special marine safety event today as they work to remind boaters about the importance of wearing a life-jacket on the waters this long weekend.
The Toronto Police Service Marine Unit will be conducting demonstrations of the latest in life-jacket technology and the best way to get back onto a boat from the water during a media event at their headquarters on Queens Quay West, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The event comes ahead of what is expected to be a busy weekend on the waters.
Speaking with CP24 on Thursday morning, Const. Richard Baker said that there is a particular concern this time of year about boaters falling into the water and being incapacitated by the cold, something that he called “cold shock.”
“It is beautiful outside and people may think you know what I can undress and take some of the layers of but then all of a sudden they fall out of the boat, they hit that cold water and water gets into the lungs and they sink,” he said. “That is a real danger and it is something we need to make people aware of. You have about one minute to keep your head above water and get used to the cold and that shock will wear off and then you can start to do something. But without a life-jacket on you can be trouble.
Today’s safety event is being put on in coordination with the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
Board member Barbara Byers told CP24 that the idea is to preach safety ahead of a Victoria Day Weekend that is considered the unofficial start to the boating season to many.
She said that in addition to having a life-jacket for every person on your boat, you should also inspect other safety gear, such as flares, to ensure that they are in working order.
“A lot of things can happen over the winter,” she said. “You need to make sure your boat is operational and that it has all the safety equipment.”