May 24, 2016

Safe Quiet Lakes

Annual Safe Quiet Lakes campaign got underway on Victoria Day weekend

Regional advocacy group Safe Quiet Lakes is launching its annual awareness and safety campaign in cooperation and with support from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). In addition to critical reminders about respect, safety and the risks on the water, the campaign is also highlighting the growing issue of excessive noise created by some powerboats, including those that boaters can choose to operate with their muffler system disengaged.

Photo: Greg Wilkinson

The campaign will remind boaters that it is not only against the law to operate a boat without a muffler on the Muskoka lakes but it is also inconsistent with the culture of the lakes. “We share these spectacular lakes and all of us have a responsibility to respect our neighbours,” says Paul Coffey, Muskoka cottager and NHL Hall-of-Famer. “We risk ruining this precious environment if we run our boats without considering the impact of noise or disengaging the mufflers. It’s just not cool. Let’s all show some respect and protect the safe, quiet Muskoka we love.”

Surveys conducted by Safe Quiet Lakes indicate that the majority of cottage owners and residents in the Muskoka region are unhappy with the excessive noise from some powerboats. And in fact, the same surveys indicate that enjoyment of the lakes for paddlers, sailors and powerboat owners is directly correlated to perceptions of safety and quiet. Throughout the summer long campaign, Safe Quiet Lakes and the OPP will be educating boat owners to be aware of the different types of muffler systems and configurations that are found in the wide variety of vessels throughout Muskoka and the regulations that govern them. The OPP will be enforcing these regulations and want the public to be able to identify what meets regulation and what is prohibited under the Canada Shipping Act.

The Safe Quiet Lakes campaign begins on the Victoria Day long weekend and will run through Labour Day, reminding lake users that “Boaters Always Care”. During the campaign volunteers from Safe Quiet Lakes and officers from the OPP Marine Unit will be working with boat operators to educate them on the ways to operate their vessels safely, quietly and respectfully. Safe Quiet Lakes Board Chair Frances Carmichael says, “Almost everyone in the Muskoka Region is a boater, including all of us at Safe Quiet Lakes, and we want to promote the positive and considerate boating culture in the area. That way we can all enjoy the lakes that we treasure.”

About Safe Quiet Lakes

Safe Quiet Lakes is a not-for-profit community group of boaters that promotes;

• Safe, respectful boating and the adoption of the SQL boaters’ code – Boaters Always Care
• The preservation of the community culture in the Muskoka region through respectful and safe use of our shared waterways

For more information or to get involved visit http://safequiet.ca/

 

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