‘Boat Safety Day’ Saturday at Port Dover Harbour Marina

By Donna McMillan
THIS is Safe Boating Awareness Week in Canada. “Safety First, Service Always” is the motto the Canadian Coast Guard lives by.
The Port Dover Search and Rescue Station is ready for the 2017 boating year. It’s season stretches from April 1 to December 10 with two crews of four on bi-weekly rotations, Commanding Officer Tyler Ryersee told the Maple Leaf.
The crew has been busy launching their boat, taking it for sea trials and checking gear to make sure all is ready for operations.
The Station usually handles 70 search and rescue incidents a season, Tyler said, as well as being involved in Safety Awareness.
“We are there to save people first,” he added, often providing first aid and medivacs as well as towing of disabled vessels.
Tyler and Chief Engineer Cory Oulton shared a number of recommendations for boaters as they ready their boats for launch, including: wear PFDs; don’t drink and boat; take a safe boating course; obtain your Pleasure Boat Operator Card; prepare your vessel; make sure safety equipment is up-to-date and on board; and beware of immersion.
Tyler said it is important, early in the season, for boaters to be aware of water temperatures.
“The air might be warm,” he said, “but the water is extremely cold right now.” It’s also important for boaters to “know the basic rules of the road and who has the right of way,” Cory added.
The local station operates CCGS Cape Lambton, a 47-foot self-righting lifeboat and a Zodiac Hurricane.
Tyler Ryersee, who grew up on Pelee Island, has a Port Dover connection to the local Ryerse family. His grandparents were originally from Port Dover.
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Port Dover Power and Sail Squadron’s “Boat Safety Day” will be held this Saturday (May 27) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Port Dover Harbour Marina. Admission is free.
Port Dover Power & Sail Squadron, Norfolk’s boating safety experts and educators, host the annual event for boaters, or those interested in boating, to ensure everyone is safe on the water this coming season.
Included in this informative day, Port Dover Power & Sail Squadron will be available to answer any questions related to boating safety, safety equipment, courses, licensing requirements, etc.
Qualified volunteers will be on hand to conduct Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks (RVCC) free of charge to ensure that boaters have the required safety equipment to avoid hefty fines this season. If boaters have outdated or expired distress signalling flares then we will collect them and ensure that they are disposed of properly.
Not only do organizers want to ensure that larger vessels such as power and sail boats are safe but also the local paddle community. Otter Valley Paddle Sports will be on site doing demonstrations and discussing paddle safety.
In addition, the OPP Marine Unit will have officers present to answer any questions and the boating public can get up close look at one of their patrol boats which will be displayed.
Port Dover Power & Sail Squadron is a volunteer, non-profit organization that promotes boating safety through education. The event has been made possible through a Norfolk County grant.


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