Are you ready for your OPP safety check on the water? Or, more importantly, are you prepared for an emergency?
A couple of weeks ago on a humid September day we had friends in town and decided to go for a cruise on Georgian Bay in our small power boat. Since it was calm we elected to circumnavigate Parry Island from Parry Sound harbour. While rounding Bears Head at the tip of Parry Island we were surprised to be flagged down by the OPP boat for a routine safety check. It was a pleasant encounter, all aboard my vessel were wearing inflatable PFD’s and since I am writing about it you might guess correctly that we successfully passed muster.
What struck me however, as I displayed the store bought kit with the mandatory items for my 17’ boat, was how wise in might be to routinely supplement the equipment on board. I had the mandatory paddle, but I also carry a substantial anchor and rode with chain, some extra lines (the stuff in the kit could pass for twine), a fire extinguisher, small air horn, flares, VHF radio, first aid kit, extra clothing, matches, compass (some items may be mandatory for your vessel – so check the regulations. I didn’t bore, or annoy, the officers by showing them my extra gear. But I was glad to know I had it onboard.
It is easy to be complacent out there – be prepared to help yourself and others.
RA – MAREP
The Emerald Isle in Parry Sound. A candidate for a Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron Courtesy Check?