Lake Huron, ON - The Huron County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Marine Unit is
urging boaters to ensure SAFETY is their number one priority when out on the lake
this boating season. This warning comes following a successful rescue mission this
past weekend by the Huron OPP Marine Unit & the Canadian Coast Guard.
Shortly after 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2018 Huron OPP received a 9-1-1 call
about a small sailboat that had capsized in Lake Huron north of Bayfield approximately
2 kilometres from shore.
Three London residents, all between the ages of 19 to 24 plunged into the frigid
water when their sailboat capsized. The strong winds and heavy wave activity on
Lake Huron simply overpowered the inexperienced and ill-prepared sail-boaters. There
was no safety equipment on board the vessel nor were any of them wearing life jackets
or personal floatation devices.
Fortunately, the OPP Marine Unit was in the area and was able to locate the small
boat within 10 minutes. Upon arriving on scene officers located the three men all
submerged in the water attempting to hold onto the overturned hull of the sailboat.
Officers were able to pull out the panicked and exhausted males from the water into
Members from the Canadian Coast Guard arrived on scene a few minutes later and were
able to transport the males safely to shore whereupon they subsequently received
treatment for hypot hermia and exhaustion.
"We are very fortunate these young males survived this life and death situation.
It very easily could have been a tragedy. I cannot stress enough the importance
of being prepared before you set sail. The best protection you can give yourself
on the water is to wear your lifejacket!" - Sergeant Andrew MacIsaac, Huron OPP
Huron OPP offers the following additional marine safety tips:
- Life Jackets/PFD - A proper sized life jacket or PFD is required for each person
- Competent Operator - Take a boating safety course and always carry your operator
card with you.
- Check and monitor the Marine Weather Forecast. Conditions can change quickly, particularly
on larger bodies of water.
- Sail Plan - Let someone know your planned route and estimated time of return. Time
is of the essence in an emergency, it can make the difference between a rescue and
- Safety Equipment - Required by law, requirements vary by type of vessel and size.
Ensure you have the proper equipment on board each time you sail; it won't help
you if it's left on the dock.
- Charts and Compass - Be aware of local hazards, water levels, tides and know where
you are at all times.
- Fuel - 1/3 to go, 1/3 to return, 1/3 in reserve.
- Boat Condition - Check the hull, hoses, lines, clamps and the battery. Regular maintenance
reduces the risk of a break down on the water.
- Leave the Beer on the Pier - Boaters caught drinking and boating in Ontario face
the same consequences as drinking & driving on land. This includes power boats,
canoes, kayaks, sail boats and personal watercraft.
OPP Contact Information