MUSKOKA LAKES, ON- Tips for safe boating are being offered by an area group after the recent fatal collision on Lake Joseph.

The tips are coming from Safe Quiet Lakes, an advocacy group formed in 2011 aimed at ensuring lakes in the Muskoka area are safe for everyday users, swimmers, and every type of motorized and human-powered craft.

While the group didn’t comment on the fatal crash, they said their sympathies are with the people touched by the events.

“Everyone in the boating community is saddened by the tragedy,” read the statement from the group’s chair, Greg Wilkinson.

“We can comment more generally because boating at night is part of our recreational boating culture in Canada. Many of us who have water access properties or visit them are used to boating at night routinely. But it is very, very dangerous and we all need to operate our boats differently at night.”

They offered the following advice for night boating operations.

  • Navigation lights on. Always. Period.
  • Be very familiar with local waters and landmarks. If you aren’t, don’t go on the water at night•Travel at a significantly lower speed than you would in daylight
  • No alcohol or cannabis in the boat; use a designated driver
  • Limit driver distractions and enlist passengers to support the driver as spotters
  • If you are uncertain about where you are or what is ahead, slow down immediately to bow-down no wake speed until you are reoriented
  • Know the safety regulations so you can recognize the direction other craft are traveling by their lights

“Night travel on the water is part of life in our lake communities, but the terrible accident on Lake Joseph is a sobering reminder that just because it’s routine doesn’t mean it’s safe,” said Wilkinson.

“Boaters need to operate with additional caution at night.”