OPP cautions boaters; SNC downgrades flood warnings

SMITHS FALLS — The OPP is urging extreme caution as many people prepare to get their boats on the water for the first time this season.

“High water levels and unusually fast currents will be a challenge on many of our local waterways”, said Chief Superintendent Chris Harkins, Commander of the OPP’s East Region. “Another real danger is the hazard posed by floating and submerged debris.”

Recent flooding has washed a wide variety of material into rivers and lakes and in some cases, rocks which are normally visible, could be just below the surface. A collision with these hazards could cause serious damage to boats and potentially serious injuries to those onboard.

“If you are traveling in areas still experiencing high water levels, please be aware of the damage that can be caused by excessive wake,” said Chief Harkins. “Most of all, I encourage everyone to be safe and follow the rules and ensure you have all your required safety equipment, which includes the use of PFDs.”

The OPP also reminds you that drinking and boating definitely don’t mix.

East Region OPP Marine Units will be out on waterways this weekend, ensuring the safety of the boating public.

The OPP’s concern about high water, follows a wet season along Eastern Ontario’s major waterways. South Nation Conservation has recently eased up on flood advisories for the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers but continues to urge caution along shorelines.