“You never know what’s going to happen,” Bancroft OPP Constable Philippe Regamey says. Even if you’re going for a quick ride on your boat, having a lifejacket on or readily available is important, he says.
There’s no excuse to not wear or have a lifejacket on board your boat, Regamey says. Some say that wearing one is uncomfortable, but that excuse doesn’t fly. “Companies are always designing them for different recreational purposes,” Regamey says. “They’re comfortable and designed for a purpose.”
You have to have enough lifejackets on your boat for all occupants. If you don’t you could be hit with a fine starting at $200, with it increasing for every person that doesn’t have a lifejacket available for them.
Regamey adds that just having them on board isn’t enough. “Always make sure they’re readily acceptable,” he says. “If they’re shoved in some small compartment and suddenly the boat flips, they’re not easy to get to.”
The OPP takes safety on the water seriously. “Anytime we’re going to be dealing with individuals out on the water if they don’t have a lifejacket, zero tolerance.” He says that is no different when it comes to operating a boat drunk or while high.
Written by Mathew Reisler