Hartley Bay Marina responds to boating fatalities
During the summer of 2019, there have been 16 boating fatalities across Ontario.
13 of the victims were not wearing life jackets.
At a marina in the French River area, a sign has been put up to encourage people to avoid preventable tragedies.
"There has been some tragedies here in the Delta in the past, and they all dealt with people boating and not wearing lifejackets. And it's so simple to put them on and keep them on. They can be purchased now. They are quite comfortable, not like the old bulky ones you saw 50 years ago," Sad Mike Palmer, Hartley Bay Marina.
The Palmer family has been running the marina since 1952.
They have seen families sell cherished cottages after a loved one drowned.
"To see them not here anymore is sad for me, and I can only imagine what it's like for the family. The torment to see that place, and you know Grandpa is no there, dad or mom. It just tears the families apart," Said Palmer.
The Ontario Provincial Police say with hunting and cottage season upon us, it's still a busy time on the water.
"If they are out fishing, duck hunting, or just for a pleasure boat ride to wear your lifejacket or PFD, because having that lifejacket on board or nearby is no good to you if you fall in the water. Things do happen quickly," said Constable Michelle Coulombe, OPP.
Palmer says only about 25% of the people leaving his dock in boats are actually wearing lifejackets.
"You see boats leaving here and they are overloaded and people have life jackets and they are sitting on them," said Palmer.
Like seat belts in vehicle, Palmer would like to see the province make wearing lifejackets mandatory in all boats.