The Labour Day long weekend is quickly approaching, and northeastern OPP units are reminding the public to be safe on the water while enjoying the long weekend. Police say that all vessels on the water must have safety gear on board, whether it be a motor boat, a paddle boat, or a canoe.

That safety gear is as follows:

    • 15m floating heaving line
    • watertight flashlight
    • whistle – *must be Pealess* (or some type of sound signaling device, ie. horn, or portable air horn, etc.)
    • bailing bucket
    • a paddle or an oar
    • lifejackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) for every person on board (*self-inflating PFD’s must be worn*)
    • Depending on the size of the vessel and motor being used, it may require proper flares and a fire extinguisher

Police also make note of horsepower and age restrictions:

  • under 12yrs. may operate a boat with up to 10hp
  • 12yrs. – 16yrs. may operate a boat with up to 40hp
  • under 16 yrs. regardless of supervision may NOT operate a personal watercraft (sea doo, jet skis)
  • 16yrs. and older, there are no horsepower restrictions

The final reminder from the OPP is to stay sober on the water. Police say that drinking and boating carries the same penalties as drinking and driving.