OPP Marine Unit (BlackburnNews.com file photo)OPP Marine Unit (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

OPP Urge Caution During Summer Recreation

Provincial police have released the results of a ten-year investigation into summer recreation deaths.

Over the last decade, 276 people have died in boating incidents and 167 people have died in ORV (off-road vehicle) incidents in Ontario.

The study showed capsized boats, lack of safety equipment, boaters falling overboard, and alcohol were the main causes of fatal boating accidents.

The OPP says of the 276 people who died in these incidents, 226 were not wearing a life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD). Police determined that many of the victims may have survived if they had been wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.

Alcohol and drugs were the main factors in ORV incidents, followed closely by riders not wearing helmets, and speed.

According to OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support, many of the deceased would have survived if they had made better decisions for themselves and their passengers.

“Our data could not make it any clearer that the risks to all and the consequences for some do not change from year-to-year when mixing boating and off-roading with alcohol or drugs, driving carelessly, and not being equipped or prepared to survive an unexpected life-threatening turn of events on the water and on the trails,” says Blair.

The study was released to raise awareness of behaviour and preventable summer accidents in Ontario.

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