OPP rescue nine people from Georgian Bay waters over two-day span

Seven of the people were rescued from the waters in a two-hour window

News release – Collingwood and Huronia West OPP

Collingwood and Huronia West OPP have been busy with their joint marine patrol in the waters of Georgian Bay.

They have rescued nine people in four separate incidents in the last two days.

On Thursday, June 30th, seven of these people were rescued from the waters in a two-hour window.

At approximately 1:30 pm, officers observed three adult female paddleboarders waving for help approximately 2 km out from the shores of Wasaga Beach. Only one of them had a life jacket, and they had two paddleboards between the three of them. They were quickly blown out from shore, and found themselves in distress and unable to get back.

At 2:15 pm, officers received a call for service in the waters in the area of Beachwood Road. Two children the ages of 12 and 13 were being blown out into the bay on a foam mat toy. Neither child was wearing a lifejacket. While en route to assist, police located one child in the water in distress attempting to swim back to shore. The other child was located on the toy mat.

At 3:30 pm, two adult males were reported to be in distress after the inflatable toy they were on was blown into the bay from Northwinds Beach in the Town of Blue Mountains. The marine unit along with the Canadian Coast Guard coordinated efforts and were able to rescue the pair who were also not wearing life jackets.

On Friday, July 1st, at 12:19 pm, police received a call for two adult females who had been blown out into the bay from Wasaga Beach on a large pink flamingo toy. Neither female was wearing a life jacket, and both were non-swimmers.

Police would like to remind the public of the hazards involved with using inflatable toys, paddleboards and other water-based equipment.

Here are a few important tips:

  • ALWAYS wear a life jacket. Know your limitations. Set a good example for your children. Life jackets are available to borrow free of charge from any Ontario Parks gatehouse or office at Wasaga Beach.
  • Check the weather and wind conditions. Offshore winds blow from the land towards the water. Conditions may appear smooth near the shoreline, but deteriorate the further you go out.
  • Don’t mix alcohol or drugs with water activities.
  • Avoid distractions STAY OFF YOUR CELL PHONE.

Inflatable toys are NOT a lifesaving device and provide a false sense of security. They should NEVER replace a life jacket or adult supervision.

The OPP would also like to remind beachgoers to secure their inflatable toys when not in use. If they are blown into the water or abandoned, others may think someone is stranded or missing. This causes unnecessary search efforts to begin.

Feature image – file photo – Barrie 360

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