Sunday marks a traditional party weekend, where on the second Sunday of every July, thousands typically gather at Pottahawk Island for the annual “Pottahawk Pissup.” The island is located near Turkey Point and Long Point.
It’s previously been billed on social media as “North America’s biggest boat party” with more than 2,000 boats and 10,000 people in attendance.
OPP say every year, emergency crews respond to numerous injuries and impaired boaters.
“The majority of the incidents investigated involved alcohol and in some instances, people left stranded without a ride back to shore,” the release read.
OPP say officers will be conducting random vessel checks throughout the day to ensure all safety equipment is on board.
Police are urging boaters to anchor their boats two metres apart for distancing purposes.
“We want everyone that will be attending Pottahawk to behave in a safe and responsible manner and to remember to put their safety as a priority,” said Insp. Rob Scott of the Norfolk County OPP Detachment.
Some additional safety tips from OPP include:
- Wear a life-jacket at all times while boating.
- Do not operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Conduct a pre-departure checklist for all required safety equipment.
- Check the weather forecast before leaving the dock.
- Let someone know your destination and when you plan on returning.
- Avoid picking up hitch-hikers.
- Have some type of communications (VHF radio, cellphone with charger).
—With files from Global’s Ryan Rocca and Travis Dhanraj
Tips for staying safe on the water this boating awareness week
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