Deaths on the water in OPP Central Region up 44 per cent this year

"Think before you sink"

Some sun is expected this weekend. It will be warm. And many people will be heading out on the water.

Ontario Provincial Police hope they all come back alive.

Central Region Chief Dwight Peer says five people have died in boating incidents in the region this year, eight others in the water – a 44 per cent increase over last year.

“Water is very unforgiving and does not discriminate,” says Peer. “The victims have been of varied ages, genders, and backgrounds. No matter how good a swimmer you may be, wear your life jacket or PFD. There’s no shame in wearing something that could save your life.”

Life jackets are a must, he says, and should be worn, not just stowed on the boat.

And if you’re checking out a new body of water, he recommends having a chat with locals about the risks, always be aware of changing water and weather conditions, and never boat or swim while impaired.

“Everyone has the right to enjoy a safe and fun time on the water. Be respectful, responsible, and safely share the waterways with swimmers, divers, and all types of watercraft and local wildlife. Please stay safe and think, before you sink.”