MUSKOKA - Just days after a two-boat collision in Muskoka Lakes, police are reminding cottagers and locals that they will be stepping up their enforcement on land and waterways over the Victoria Day long weekend.
The OPP says it will be on the lookout for aggressive, impaired, distracted and speeding drivers on area roads, and that the marine unit will be making similar patrols on the region’s lakes and rivers.
The heightened enforcement was announced after emergency crews were called to a boat accident on Lake Muskoka shortly after midnight on Sunday, May 13. Police, firefighters and paramedics accessed the accident site through Pennwood Road in Port Carling.
Muskoka Lakes fire chief Richard Hayes said there were a number of injuries in the accident.
“We transported one from the accident site to shore,” he said.
Hayes said two other people were transported from the accident site by other means. Though he said the accident did not take place a far distance from shore, it wasn’t within “swimming distance.”
Const. Maureen Tilson of the Bracebridge OPP detachment said police are investigating the incident and that charges are pending.
This weekend, police are reminding boaters to wear certified flotation devices and not to drink while boating. Drivers are reminded that they are mandated by law to slow down and move over when passing stopped emergency vehicles.
“Traffic enforcement reduces injuries and saves lives, and that’s what we intend to do,” said OPP commissioner Chris Lewis. “We know that the increase in traffic during the Victoria Day weekend also increases the risks for serious injury or death on our highways, trails and waterways.”
The Canadian Standards Association is also reminding those using a barbecue this weekend to keep the devices outdoors and away from combustible materials. Owners should also carefully inspect their grills for insects, debris and gas leaks before firing them up.
“Propane cylinders must be inspected and re-qualified every 10 years in Canada and 12 years in the United States,” the CSA said in a release. “A date stamp on the cylinder indicates when it was last qualified. Do not use a rusty or damaged cylinder. If in doubt, have your tank replaced.”
The CSA says camping stoves, lanterns and outdoor cookers should only be lit outdoors and at least three metres away from tents, combustible materials and vehicles. Flammable clothing, children and pets should be kept away from fuel-burning devices.
Boaters and cottagers are also reminded to keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy in the event of an emergency.