Please be careful

Please be careful

DAY

As of today, many vacationers will be able to take it easy and enjoy the many waterways of the Belle Province.

It is, however, shocking to learn that in the first two years of the pandemic, there were 82 drowning victims, 30 of them during water activities. Recent statistics indicate that of this number, 70% were in a motorboat, 20% in canoes, kayaks and paddleboards and 10% in personal watercraft.

Experts

Anne-Marie Francoeur and Raynald Hawkins of National Drowning Prevention Week have put together a list of 13 safety tips that are aimed specifically at anglers. Here they are:

1Always wear a life jacket when fishing. If you fall in the water, the chances of survival are much greater if you wear it and especially if you wear it correctly. Plus, it’ll keep you warm if you fall.

2 Sailing while impaired is illegal. If you want to celebrate your good catches and the good weather, get into the habit of consuming your alcoholic beverages when you return to dry land.

3 </strong >The consumption of alcoholic beverages has a diuretic effect. Please do not urinate overboard. The effects of alcohol and the outrigger of the waves can easily cause you to fall off the boat.

4 Always be accompanied when you go out on the ‘water. Sailing or fishing alone is not safe. An attendant could help you or contact emergency services if necessary.

5 Check the weather forecast before going out. Return to shore immediately if bad weather approaches and make sure to have the proper boat storage.

6 Operate motorboats responsibly. Do not go too fast near the shore and show courtesy to other boaters.

7 Stay seated! You can easily fall out of a small motorboat, canoe or kayak. An unexpected fall will make you lose your bearings and possibly panic.

8Properly load your boat with your chests, coolers and various equipment. An unbalanced or overloaded boat could take on water or capsize.

9 Be prepared: make sure your boat has the required safety equipment on board and enough fuel.

10 Carry a VHF radio or cell phone in case you need to call the help.

11 Always tell someone where you are going, when you will be back and who to call if you are late.

12 Have a good knowledge of the bodies of water where you will be fishing. Shoals can damage your motor propeller, your boat and can cause you to capsize.

13 Train Yourself: Boating is fun and easy if you know the basics. In Quebec and everywhere else in Canada, you must have a competency card to drive a boat.