On Saturday, June 21, 2008, a young man (24 years old) died while boating in Bala Bay. What a shame. What a shame for the rescue crews: Bracebridge OPP, the Muskoka Marine Unit,
Safe boating is a good practice; this shot, taken in May, 2008, in VERY cold spring water shows some of the dangerous kinds of behaviour. This is a self-inflicted wound and highly preventable by following the safe driving Transport Canada guidelines. Those who operate a boat must have operator cards. The Safe Boating Guide is required knowledge to pass this test. Yet in reality many continue to flaunt the rules.
I know how much of an impact it has for any ambulance crew to work with those who are ill, dying, or who have died. The emotional toll on crews is dear. OPP crime alerts are filled with news about our first response teams, bless them all. It is not easy to come to terms with our mortality; even more disturbing to face an unnecessary death. How simple it is to prevent such a tragedy. Such a shame. Someone has to take responsibility. Perhaps, as with drinking and driving, with drinking and boating with more time we will learn the lessons. It is up to friends, family and neighbours to take a role in preventing such tragedies.
The coast guard had to rescue boaters in Parry Sound on the June 29 weekend. Another man drowned while trying to rescue teen-aged kayakers on Lake Huron. The 2007 Canada Day long weekend had nine fatalities, seven on the roads and two deaths on the water, and the 2008 weekend was not over yet.
How little we think of others and the impact our actions makes upon them, both personally and professionally. How much of a cost is this to others? We often see people fishing standing up in their boats. They drain the emergency support services in terms of the time, and the costs to human and financial resources. How little some think of others. My thoughts and condolences go to family members. These deaths can be prevented. Traffic laws and the system should be able to predict behaviour, demonstrate serious issue that can be forecast, and protect our citizens. Those who love their friends should speak out when they see them exhibit dangerous behaviour. For those with demerit points, parents need to be proactive and take responsibilty. We forbade our sons from driving with friends until they demonstrated that they had earned the privilege to drive. Graduated licensing is a good idea. Limits never hurt anyone. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. You can help protect society. Speak out and save a life.
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