Ontario provincial police report alarming number of boating deaths
WATCH: Susan Hay hits the water with OPP Const. Isaac Houston to learn some safe boating tips for the summer.
TORONTO – There have been 11 boating deaths so far this year in areas within OPP jurisdiction, a number the force calls alarming.
OPP say three of the seven incidents involved multiple fatalities and all involved small boats.
Police say most of the deaths were preventable, as nine victims were not wearing life-jackets. Meanwhile, alcohol was involved in at least three of the fatal boating incidents.
At this time last year, the number of boating fatalities was five.
“Don’t let anyone put you in an unsafe situation on the water,” said Chief Superintendent Don Bell in a media release. “If you are a passenger, ask for a PFD or lifejacket before you head out in the vessel and wear it.”
Six of this year’s 11 boating victims were operators, while five were passengers.
Police want to remind the public to follow safe boating practices and to wear a lifejacket at all times while on the water.
The OPP also want to urge people to call 9-1-1 if they suspect a boat operator has been consuming alcohol.