Salmon Arm RCMP provide several safety tips for boaters to follow before heading out on the lakes in the Shuswap this spring or summer. (Metro Stock photo)

Salmon Arm RCMP provide several safety tips for boaters to follow before heading out on the lakes in the Shuswap this spring or summer. (Metro Stock photo)

‘Don’t let a fun day on the lake end in tragedy’: Salmon Arm RCMP

Along with personal flotation devices for everyone, tips include informing someone of trip plan

As sunshine and warm temperatures draw residents and visitors onto the beautiful lakes of the Shuswap, police implore boaters to proceed with care.

Staff Sgt. Scott West of Salmon Arm RCMP pointed out people drown in local lakes every year.

“Don’t let a fun day on the lake end in tragedy,” he warned.

Personal flotation devices (PFDs) are recommended on smaller boats for everyone. They’re not just for children; adults need to wear them too.

“It does not take much for you to become incapacitated if a boat overturns or you fall out…,” West said.

He also urged boaters who have a motor with a tethered engine stop switch to be sure it’s attached securely to clothing.

“I have been told that there is nothing worse than to be in the middle of a lake with a PFD on, only to watch your boat drive away by itself.”

A spring check of safety equipment is also recommended, including checking your bailer, buoyant heaving line, a sounding device and making sure your flashlight works. He also recommended checking fire extinguishers and flairs, including their expiration dates.

Read more: Shuswap history in pictures: Shuswap Lake Boat Livery

Read more: Shuswap group plans to monitor speed boat noise

Along with passengers having a certified PFD that’s the right size and type, the boat’s registration and the driver’s Pleasure Craft Operator’s card should also be onboard.

“We will be checking,” warned West, adding violators can be ordered ashore and given a ticket. He recommended the Transport Canada Marine Safety Site as a good resource regarding requirements.

West also reminded boaters that it’s illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Criminal charges can result.

Other recommendations for a safe outing include:

• check weather conditions before setting out. If conditions change while you’re on the water, have a safe place in mind to put in or anchor – or simply get off the water.

• leave a trip plan with someone. Even if it is a short trip, text, call or email someone to let them know where you are going, preferably a relative. Also let them know when you will be back, and then let them know when you return.




newsroom@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook follow us on Twitter

and subscribe to our daily newsletter.

BoatingRCMPShuswapSummer