More caution required as seasons change
PROVINCIAL — Boating in the fall offers colourful vistas, quiet anchorages and excellent fishing but it is not without its challenges that necessitate self-sufficiency and taking some additional precautions to keep from running into trouble.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation want to remind all boaters enjoying the fall season on the water to follow these tips to ensure that their excursions are both safe and enjoyable.
Before heading out, be sure to check the weather forecast. The mixing of warm and cold air can quickly spawn high winds and waves making it treacherous for small boats. Fog, too, is an issue at this time of year making visibility difficult. Should boaters find themselves in a fog bank, they should proceed slowly and sound their horn at regular intervals to alert other boaters of their presence.
Well into October, daytime temperatures can occasionally be balmy but dressing for the water temperature will help slow the onset of hypothermia should the unexpected happen and the boater find himself in the water. Accidental cold water immersion can be shocking, but they shouldn’t panic. It may take a minute or so to get their breathing under control after the initial shock but they will have at least 10-15 minutes, even in very cold water, to affect self-rescue before they start to lose muscle control in their arms and legs. This is where an approved lifejacket, either inflatable or inherently buoyant, is an essential part of a boater’s wardrobe to keep them afloat after they can no longer swim.