The Canadian Safe Boating Council is urging anyone heading to the lakes this long weekend to take water travel seriously.
Susanne Simic says there have been 19 deaths due to boating accidents across the country this year and that simply wearing a life jacket can keep you alive.
“You know the water temperature is freezing cold and the first reaction is to inhale because of the cold – and for a lot of people, it’s their last breath. The lifejacket will keep you above water, [it] will give you time for self-rescue and to call for help should you need it.”
“It’s a time for people to launch their boats. They start thinking about the warmer weather – they’re heading out in the water. So we want them to be very aware that there still are dangers associated with the water at this time of year. It’s very very cold. So you may have a tank top on and shorts, but if you fall into that water, you have no protection whatsoever from that freezing cold water.”
Safe boating awareness week starts today and Simic also urges boaters not to drink behind the wheel.