Lake safety is critical

Resident believes commercial buoys need to be marked so boaters can see them

Consider the following hypothetical, but very possible tragedy.

We saw the submerged buoy at the last second but it was too late to avoid catastrophe. It ripped into the tube pulling our kids and as it did so, caught the arm of my daughter, fracturing it in two places. We were emotionally paralyzed.  We pulled it back together, made sure the rest of the kids were OK and then took our injured daughter to the hospital.

The good news is she’s healing well.  After returning to the accident site, we determined that the buoy was one of four placed in the area by commercial boat operators. The one we hit was barely showing above the water, and like an iceberg, the vast majority of its mass of welded together discarded propane tanks was lurking below the surface.  The others had more showing, but again were difficult to see, as they had no florescent or reflective markings what so ever.

How could one be so careless with no regard for the safety of others, especially individuals who spend their professional life on the water?  Our neighbours shared with us numerous other near miss incidents.

We weren’t going to let this nightmare scenario happen. We headed to Fisher’s Hardware and picked up some marking buoy’s to attach to the floating lethal weapons. Kelly Fisher was only too happy to give us a break on the purchase.  Just after we attached them, and had come back to shore, an RCMP boat came by seemingly to check them, but our reflective buoys had already been attached. They might have been responding to other complaints.  The RCMP incorrectly might have assumed the fisherman added the reflective buoys

We had the same issue last year with the fisherman, a number of us filing complaints with the Coast Guard, obviously with little lasting affect.

As residents in the community and benefactors of commercial fishing on our lake, we insist they follow good safety practices.  We also challenge the authorities to properly enforce the law.

Again the good news is that the event described above luckily never happened, but there were a number of close calls by numerous boaters, which, could have ended in significant injury or death.

 

Rob Tedham

Vernon