OUR MISSION: Make the Muskoka lakes safer and quieter to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of a treasured shared resource
Chair’s Message
Safe Quiet Lakes has been busy with our various projects and educational programs to promote responsible boating. The lakes are busier and filled with more people who want to experience the water in a variety of ways – from power boats to jet ski’s to kayaking to swimming. This increase of such diverse crafts on the water means that more than ever we must be attentive to sharing the space. For Safe Quiet Lakes this means that our messages and educational programs are needed more than ever.

All of our programs are based on the input we get from the lakefront community. We are currently undertaking our 3rd lake activity survey. In 2017 we had over 3,300 people respond. The detailed report has been shared with lake associations, local governments and the OPP. If you have not done so yet, please visit our website to complete the 2021 survey and tell us what is important to you. Your Lakes - Your Views Survey

Enjoy your summer!

Diana Piquette
Chair, Safe Quiet Lakes
Share the Space Article
Safe Quiet Lakes - 7.10.20 – Greg Wilkinson
Updated 6.12.21
Share the Space

In the summer of 2020, I wrote the following post about a fatal boating collision. We know more about the specifics of the accident today. The man who was rowing was Mike Cohen, he was struck by a PWC, and a charge has been laid. And Mike’s family and friends have a hole in their hearts. But what we already knew before this tragedy and others, is that it should never, ever happen, and that those of us who drive power boats are accountable for the safety of those in smaller and less powerful craft. 

On a Sunday morning in July a collision took place on Lake Muskoka and a man died. Unfortunately for the OPP who are responsible for patrolling our waters, that isn’t a shocking report or even that surprising. In fact, three people died in Ontario lakes that weekend and all of those deaths are important to learn from and all of the families involved deserve sympathy and privacy to deal with their loss.

The Lake Muskoka fatality pains me in a particular way. The man who was killed was either rowing or paddling a kayak, two things I often do near our family cottage. Although the investigation is ongoing, media reports indicate he appears to have been killed in a collision with a personal watercraft (PWC), a Jet Ski or SeaDoo. An average kayak weighs less than 20 kilograms; the average PWC close to 400. The potential speed a kayak could sustain with an average paddler is well under 10 kph while many PWC’s are capable of traveling over 100
kph. In a collision that’s a serious mismatch.

Our Safe Quiet Lakes Boater’s Code appears at boat launches and marinas around our region and the motto for our group is “Share the Space”, a reminder that these lakes are multi-use environments. The Boater’s Code states that to be safe we need to use PFD’s, operate with caution and steer well clear of other boats. And if your boat can travel 10 times as fast and weighs 20 times more than other boats on the water you carry a lot more of the safety burden. To a person in a kayak, someone driving a PWC might as well be riding a rocket, because the
outcome of a collision would be the same either way.

This has been an unusual boating season, with the pandemic causing a late start for boating. But industry sources indicate that sales of PWC’s have been red hot this year, with these “entry level” boats being snapped up by buyers eager to get out on the water. And it’s not surprising that so many Canadians want to get out and revel in the joy of being on our lakes and rivers after
being cooped up and stressed out in isolation.

But the fact that there are a lot of new boaters with brand new PWC’s on the water should cause all of us who have the opportunity to influence and educate boaters to look for ways to do more to keep the lakes safe. PWCs that are operated within our Boating Code are fun and safe. But the margin between an uneventful morning paddle and tragedy is mighty slight.

Paddlers, rowers and swimmers need to remember that they are less visible than larger craft and behave accordingly. And boaters, particularly PWC operators need to be aware that a moment of inattention, boating impaired, or experimenting with speeds or maneuvers beyond their skill level can result in an injury or death for another boater. If you or someone in your family operates a PWC, please take a moment right now to commit to doing everything you can
to ensure that everyone on the lake gets home safely at the end of their day of boating.

Share the space. It really doesn’t seem that much to ask.
Your Lakes, Your Views Survey
Reminder to Participate in Our Survey
Safe Quiet Lakes is conducting its third lake activity survey. The 2021 “Your Lakes, Your Views” survey has launched May 20th and will be open until July 12.  Results will be shared in late August. This is a survey that gathers the experiences and opinions of all who use and love the waterways in the Muskoka and Georgian Bay regions.
The Huntsville Doppler recently featured an article about our survey.
If you love to be in and on Muskoka's waterways, Safe Quiet Lakes wants your input. Click Below to read the article.
New No Wake Sign
In our ongoing efforts to mitigate destructive wakes on the waters we have developed a new NO WAKE sign that is now available. Signs cost $20.00 + shipping. Please contact Crystal@safequiet.ca to place an order.
Renters Postcard & Other Materials
We have some great new materials. Our renters post cards are an excellent way to gently remind renters to share the lakes and practice respectful boating. To order any of our materials, please contact our Outreach Coordinator at crystal@safequiet.ca
About Us
About Safe Quiet Lakes

Safe Quiet Lakes is a not-for-profit community group of boaters that promote safe, respectful boating.

We believe that positive, grass root conversations and education are important drivers of change. We created the Boater’s Code to help get the conversation started. 
Please click the image to watch a video about our programs.
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