Month: July 2012

Safety Check – Saturday July 21st

John Mason, Andy Devos and I were at Gordon Bay Marine and Hamer Bay Marine this Saturday to do courtesy safety boat checks (CPS Recreational Vessel Courtesy (RVCC) Program). This basically involves checking recreational boats to ensure they are in compliance with the mandatory safety equipment requirements. If they aren’t we let the owners know what what is required to be in compliance. Those boats that are in compliance are issued stickers for 2012 indicating they have been checked by the Canadian Power Squadron Courtesy Program. It might not help is they are stopped by the OPP, but at least they know they should pass, and where all the safety equipment is stowed.

We managed to ‘pass’ about a dozen boats while we were at the marinas. In general all the boats we checked met the applicable safety requirements. In a couple of cases where the boats were short of the necessary equipment they were able to pick up the equipment at the marina shops, and received their safety sticker. In many cases there was a little bit of a ‘hunt and seek’ process to find the equipment. That doesn’t bode well for an emergency where actions need to be taken quickly. But the courtesy check alerted them to this issue.

The most common ‘failure’ I saw with the boats did not relate to safety. Rather it concerned carrying their boat registration. This is a newer requirement and is similar to an auto vehicle registration. If you have it keep a copy on board. If you don’t you need to contact Transport Canada for a copy. They should be able to provide you with a copy of the registration document if you can give them your vessel’s registration number (the number on either side of the bow). If the boat is not registered in your name, perhaps a second hand boat purchase, they will require you to transfer the boat to your name and at the same time perhaps pay the necessary taxes. Regardless, if you are stopped by the OPP and aren’t able to produce a pleasure craft registration document you are liable for a fine of $250.

So better safe than sorry. Boat safe, stay safe.

Jo B – Communications Officer

Hubert Latzel – Remembrance

Those of you who have read the preceding posts are well aware that there will not be a formal service for Past Commander Dr. Latzel. I received the following message earlier today and am happy to post it as written (it was directed to the people at Torrance Funeral Home from Hubert’s family):

Hello Steve,
the link to donations for my dad is this (a little awkward, but it works):
– it allows general donations in multiples of $10.
Please specify that
– for “in Memory of”, please put in “P/Cdr Hubert Latzel”
Could you have this posted on your site?

I think that this is a great way to express our appreciation for Hubert’s contribution as a Parry Sound Power Squadron member and friend to many in the community. But I’d like the squadron to consider another way to commemorate Hubert.

It’s not often that an individual in a completely innocent way expresses one of their deepest wishes. This was the case with Hubert. Those of you who were at the last meeting of the Parry Sound Power Squadron Bridge will remember his wish/recommendation that the squadron take on the rehabilitation of the dock at Regatta Bay on Franklin Island. Hubert discussed the obvious need for repair and the impending challenge of working through the bureaucratic red tape to see it realized. He was direct and passionate in making this proposal to the Bridge.

Is this perhaps the  best way for the squadron to honour the memory of a friend and past commander? I think it is and and I will be bringing it before the Bridge at our next meeting. It’s not often that life and fate provides the opportunity to fulfill what was perhaps a man’s last wish. Hubert had a wonderful and selfless idea that I hope the Parry Sound Power Squadron will work to realize.

Past Commander Hubert Latzel – Funeral Arrangements

The following was provided to me earlier today. I guess we will need to finish the next meeting of the Bridge a little early and take the time for a drink in memory of Hubert.

Hubert Latzel: Suddenly, but of natural causes on his boat, near one of his favourite islands on Thursday June 28, 2012 in his 72nd year.  Loving father of Edrik, Markus and his wife Marilyn.  Proud grandfather of Maya and Marissa.  Fondly remembered by all his boating friends.  Cremation has taken place.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Cremation arrangements entrusted to the Torrance Funeral Home and Chapel.

If desired, donations to the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron would be appreciated.

Condolences may be sent to  Please put the family name in the subject line, and they will forward the message to the family.

Yacht Accident a Reminder to Boat Safe and Boat Smart

There was a report today that 3 children were killed in a boating accident off of New York’s Long Island. The 1984 Silverton of unspecified length was carrying 27 people at the time it capsized Wednesday night after watching the local fireworks (sound familiar?). Twenty-four passengers and crew were rescued by fellow boaters but the children, 8, 11 and 12 were apparently trapped below deck. There are reports the boat was swamped by another vessel which can only suggest the boat was unreasonably overloaded.

If you are reading this you already know better. But it’s still a good idea to point out potential safety risks to other boaters that got the ‘card’ but didn’t get the ‘education’. It may annoy them, but ‘better safe than sorry’.

It was fun watching local boaters, I estimate more than 200 boats, leave after the Canada Day fireworks in Parry Sound. They were smart enough to be careful because there certainly is the opportunity for an accident with that many boats heading down the South Channel.

Our Squadron’s Loss is the Community’s Loss

The Squadron is saddened by the recent death of our immediate Past Commander: Hans-Hubert Latzel, MD. Those of you who didn’t know Hubert, and those who did, will enjoy the very brief overview of his life provided by another Past Commander of the Parry Sound Squadron, Marianne King-Wilson.

Past Commander Hubert Latzel died a few days ago.  He was found aboard his houseboat-cruiser, Whiskey Jack, where he lived each summer.

Hubert described himself as “addicted to Georgian Bay”.  These were his home waters, and he knew the area well.  An accomplished photographer, he focused on nature.  Whether the smallest patch of moss or mushroom, or the watersnake beside his boat, or the birds at his feeder, Hubert turned his lens to their beauty.

The natural world brought out his poetic side. In describing a tall gnarled tree trunk he saw a sentinel: “the custodian of Big Snake Island.  For others, it’s only a crippled tree, and for some it is just firewood.  But…close your eyes and listen–don’t you hear a deep roaring cry from a dying tree?”

Hubert was a keen observer of the world, science and politics; his blogs were an analytical and eclectic reflection of the thoughtful, outspoken person he was.
A willing volunteer,  Hubert was always eager to help at a Squadron function, and joined the Bridge within a few years of completing Boating. He was generous with his time.  First he served as Membership officer and then moved to Exec, and Commander.  He told the members he was honoured to be the Commander during the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Squadron, with so many celebratory events.

He never missed a Canada Day Sailpast.  It held special meaning for him, as “a newbie Canadian” as he called himself.  At the 2012 sailpast, flags were lowered on all boats in tribute to Hubert.

Hubert came from an ancient Austrian family of entrepreneurs who had started a school for weavers, later introduced the first modern kiln for quicklime, and then developed the sugar beet industry, with three agricultural schools to educate farmers.   Despite the ravages of wars, one of the schools is still operating.

War changed the course of Hubert’s life when the SS killed his father. Still a toddler, with his mother and three siblings, Hubert travelled on foot, in cattle cars, and by any means possible, to his mother’s home town near Dusseldorf.  Much of it was destroyed, and thus Hubert said, “I grew up between ruins.”

He pined for the woods and the animals and fresh air, and so eventually returned to a Jesuit school in Austria and a high school which taught natural science.  He graduated in Medicine from University of Muenster, Germany.

As a respected physician, he practised the healing profession for many years before his early retirement and move to Canada, where his son Markus had just started a family with his wife Marilyn.

Hubert easily took up the role of grandfather with a wealth of knowledge about nature and science to share with his granddaughters Maya and Marissa.  They spent happy days together exploring his favourite islands aboard Whiskey Jack.

Hubert passed the family gift for entrepreneurship to his sons Markus and Edrik, who now run successful businesses in Canada and Germany, following their own passions.

Hubert’s kindliness and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Torrance will be announced in due course.

Hubert once said that in his next life he wanted to be a bird.  Now is that time, soaring free over the Bay, with a transcendent vista that can only be imagined.

The Whiskey Jack

Communications Officer note: Hubert’s heartfelt pictorial overview of The Snakes can be found through this link. With time, and as his site is inevitably retired and lost to the public, we will will host a copy at our site. In the meantime take the opportunity to peek through the eyes of another human being.