Conservation officers encourage safe boating

ONTARIO—After one of the longest, coldest winters on record, the ice has melted and tens of thousands of Ontario boaters and anglers are looking forward to spending time on the water enjoying their favourite pastimes. Spring is the perfect time to give some serious thought to making sure this summer is a safe one on the water. With this goal in mind, the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) proudly joins the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to promote the annual North American Safe Boating Awareness Week May 16 to 22.

“Our members actively enforce the laws regarding safe boating,” says OCOA President Tim Rochette, an Ontario Conservation Officer based in North Bay and an active angler and boater himself. “It is the responsibility of every boater to ensure that they enjoy the outdoors safely.”

At the core of the 2015 campaign are the five key messages that we have been consistently delivering to the boating community: wear a PFD or lifejacket; don’t drink and boat; take a boating course; be prepared, both you and your vessel; and be wary of the dangers of cold water immersion.

“Our members will be on the water during Safe Boating Awareness Week, whether working or enjoying some recreational time with our families,” adds Mr. Rochette. “I encourage all anglers and boaters to start now to help us make this an accident free season.”

Anyone looking for more information about boating safety is encouraged to visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council website at For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at, or contact your local Conservation Officer.