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Play it safe

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Tragically, the boating season is only just underway and already there has been an accident that claimed the life of a local man. And sadly, as is too often the case in such incidents, the victim was not wearing a lifejacket at the time.

For those who have grown up around boats and the water, or who believe they’re strong swimmers, it’s easy to scoff at wearing a lifejacket. Or to take lake conditions for granted when out fishing or heading to the cabin.

But the hard truth is, one slip or mishap—or an instant of using poor judgement—can suddenly turn a routine outing into a life-threatening situation. Lifejackets will keep you afloat if you’re knocked unconscious, or injured in some other way, falling out of a boating or in a collision.

The same holds true if hypothermia zaps your strength before you can get back into the boat or swim ashore, particularly at this time of year when the water is still very cold.

The bottom line is simple: lifejackets save lives. So, too, does playing it safe, together with the responsible use of alcohol, while out doing our favourite—and eagerly-anticipated—summer activities.

As we get ready to enjoy the first long weekend of “summer,” and welcome the annual flood of American tourists to Northwestern Ontario, last Friday’s accident on Lake of the Woods near Morson is a graphic reminder of how quickly our beautiful surroundings can turn tragic.

Please practise safe boating this summer—for your sake, and the sake of your loved ones and friends.

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