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LETTER: Action needed to curb unsafe boating activity

Police and marinas both have role to play in keeping waterways safe, writer says
2021-07-06 Boating
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During the past few years, there has been a steady increase of all types of pleasure crafts entering our waterways, especially if the access to water is close to the large populated areas.

Many travel with their watercrafts to enjoy the day, weeks or stay for months on the open waters or at marinas. Whether they are pulling boat trailers, (personal watercraft) or carrying kayaks, paddle boards, there has been a noticeable increase of these water sport activities.

Many boaters have their boating licences and most are respectful of their waterways, surroundings and safe operation of their watercraft.

In recent years the operation of many watercraft has been enhanced with the boating permit restrictions being relaxed for watercraft rentals of boats (or personal watercraft). You don't need a boater’s licence if you rent for the day, just about a 15-minute read and walk-through by a boat rental site and sign a few waivers, which seems easy enough and great for business.

It's the lack of common sense and experience of some of these one-day renters along with the lack of respect of safety rules, respecting people’s properties in or on waterways which many other boaters are finding disturbing as evidence has shown.

The OPP can't handle or watch for every safety infraction on the waterways but hopefully if camera surveillance evidence with watercraft serial numbers of these disrespectful boating enthusiasts begins showing up at OPP Headquarters, they will graciously deal with these disrespectful boaters, don't-care boat rental sites, mind-your-own-business marinas and particularly some new and a few seasoned (drivers of personal watercraft).

We all want a trouble-free summer and to enjoy and respect what our waterways have to offer.

Ray Kopylciw
Brechin

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