OUR MISSION: To be a leading voice in promoting safe, quiet waterways and respectful boating practices through education, advocacy and legislative change.

June 2024 Newsletter

Chair’s Message

Message from our Chair

As we start preparing our activities for the summer season, it is a good time to reflect on our mission as an organization: To be a leading voice in promoting safe, quiet waterways and respectful boating practices through education, advocacy and legislative change.

This summer we have plans for educational articles and webinars, continued work on supporting research and collaboration on excessive boat wakes and the preparation for legislative changes on decibel limits. We will also be active in the community with our safe boating material. 

We hope to see you on a dock or at a farmer’s market and wish you a wonderful cottage season!

Warm regards,

Diana Piquette

Chair, Safe Quiet Lakes

Early Summer - Boating Safety

Does familiarity breed contempt?

Every spring in Muskoka we hear about tragedies that could have been prevented by following simple water-safety practices.  

This spring, sadly, was no exception.

In April, on Lake Muskoka, a 31-year-old man kayaking near Taylor Island ran into difficulties that caused him to enter the water. Rescue crews responded quickly to the 911 call but were unable to reach the man before he drowned.   

In May, a young man died while riding a SEADOO on Mirror Lake near Port Carling. A witness reported seeing someone on a seadoo fall into the water and not resurface. Emergency crews, including paramedics, firefighters and police officers, immediately began to search and brought the 23-year-old man to shore, but life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. Police say the seadoo operator was trying a manoeuvre without a life jacket.

These tragedies serve as a reminder of how easy it is to take our lakes for granted and to ignore or forget the all-too-familiar adages for water safety:

  1. Cold Water Kills. Average water temperatures in Muskoka in April and May range from 4.6 to 10.0 degrees C. Few people realize that falling into water between 10 to 15 degrees C can kill you in less than one minute because of cold shock and swimming failure. Sudden cold-water immersion causes cold shock which results in the loss of breathing control and drowning from inhaling water can occur in the seconds before resurfacing. Then, within minutes, muscles and nerves will stop working which will severely impact your ability to swim or even just stay afloat. No matter your swimming ability, the best chance of surviving an accidental cold-water immersion is to wear your lifejacket.
  2. Wear Your Lifejacket: Over 80% of Canadians who drown while boating were not wearing their lifejacket or not wearing it properly. There are so many choices for lifejackets / personal floatation devices on the market now, it is easy to pick one that suits your ‘boating style’ and is one that you are comfortable wearing all the time you are on the water.

As the busy summer boating season progresses, let’s also remember these other simple Safe Boating practices:

  1. Boat Sober - Whether it’s prescription drugs, alcohol or cannabis, the use of intoxicants while operating a boat is both irresponsible and illegal.
  2. Take a Boating Course – If you are operating a powered recreational vessel, you should have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card or some other proof of competency. You might also consider taking some advanced courses. 
  3. Be Prepared, You and Your Vessel- Make sure you and your boat are up to your planned on-water activities. That means you are knowledgeable about your upcoming trip, your boat is properly equipped with the required and good to have safety equipment, the weather is suitable for the voyage, you have sufficient fuel. Plus, this is not all about you…it is important to keep in mind that by staying out of trouble you will not be putting pressure on rescue resources.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if no more drowning deaths occurred on our Lakes this summer!   

Please follow the simple water safety rules and stay safe!

Join us for a Seminar


Dr. Chris Houser, Dean, Faculty of Science and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo has been conducting research on the impact of boat wakes for the past 2 years. His work has just been published and we are excited to have him share this new research at an exclusive Safe Quiet Lakes Webinar.

Please join us for this noteworthy event! 

Click Here to Register

Preparing for Decibel Limit Regulations

The Decibel coalition of Safe Quiet Lakes recently hosted a webinar titled “Road to Quieter Lakes through Community Engagement”.

The webinar’s goal was to help registrants prepare for the expected decibel limit regulations. The expected timelines are:

• Transport Canada is currently drafting new regulations; release in Canada Gazette 1 - Fall 2024

• Canada Gazette II Spring 2025 (final regulations and effective date)

• Enforcement agencies will start implementation after Gazette II 

• Public awareness for citizen groups and enforcement agencies 1-2 year

• Penalties & Fines - 2-3 years 

The webinar provided suggestions on how to get involved including information on what cottage associations need to do to ensure enforcement on their lakes and waterways. This included samples of posters, radio and print ads and public relations. If your lake association was not able to attend the webinar, please feel free to contact outreach@safequiet.ca for more information.

No Wake Signs

In our ongoing efforts to mitigate destructive wakes on the waters we have our NO WAKE signs available. Created in consultation with Transport Canada, we hope to encourage boaters to make the responsible wake choices this summer. Signs cost $20.00 + shipping. Please contact Crystal@safequiet.ca to place an order.

Join us in helping to keep our waterways safe

We build partnerships to encourage conversations about respectful boating and to lead change through education and advocacy. Your donation will help drive our programs.

Have questions? Contact us at outreach@safequiet.ca

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