A boat overloaded with construction supplies forced a long swim and has led to one charge against the operator.

The North Bay detachment of the OPP was earlier this week to assist the occupants of a capsized boat in Callander Bay on Lake Nipissing. The boat flipped over approximately one kilometre away from shore. The occupants, three males, were able to safely swim to shore.

Police say the boat was heading to an island camp and was loaded heavily with construction materials. The boat started to take on water and with a combination of strong winds and high waves, capsized. There were only two lifejackets on board for the three occupants.

As a result, a 34-year-old male was charged with, Permitting person to operate non-human-powered pleasure craft without personal floatation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person.”

The OPP would like to remind boaters that any vessel operating with any type of motor requires the operator to possess a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) or proof of competency equivalence. And, any vessel on the water (even paddleboats, paddleboards, dinghies, inflatable floaties, and canoes) require all the necessary safety equipment on board.

The standard equipment includes:

  • 15-metre floating heaving line
  • watertight flashlight
  • whistle – *must be Pealess* (or some type of sound signalling device, i.e. horn, or portable air horn, etc.)
  • bailing bucket
  • a paddle or an oar
  • lifejackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) for every person on board (*self-inflating PFD’s must be worn*)
  • and depending on the size of the vessel and motor being used, it may require proper flares and a fire extinguisher

Horsepower and age restrictions

  • under 12 may operate a boat with up to 10 horsepower
  • 12-16yrs may operate a boat with up to 40 hp
  • under 16, regardless of supervision shall NOT operate a personal watercraft (sea-doo, jet skis)
  • 16 and older, there are no horsepower restrictions

And, remember, impaired operation on the water carries the same fines and penalties as on the highway. Help keep our waterways safe for everyone. Should you observe a suspected impaired driver, please dial 911 or contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.