Police marine unit rescues more boaters from Hamilton Harbour
Hamilton police are reminding the public to practice safe boating, after the marine unit rescued four people from a boat that was taking on water in Hamilton Harbour.
The latest rescue, on Sunday around 3 p.m., comes a week after a 51-year-old man drowned and three people — including two children — were rescued after their boat was swamped when it made a sharp turn in choppy water.
Hamilton police said the latest case could have “ended in tragedy,” but all four people on board the 2014 Sea-Doo bowrider vessel were wearing life-jackets, and the boaters called 911 immediately. No one was injured.
In the earlier drowning, the victim was not wearing a life-jacket and drowned despite being found clinging to a life preserver.
Both incidents occurred on sunny, Sunday afternoons when winds produced strong waves, with some boats becoming swamped by waves. Police warn smaller boats are more susceptible to swamping.
This past Sunday winds were gusting out of the southwest at about 37 km/h, with “choppy waves” upwards of one metre high, police said.
The Hamilton police marine unit reminds boaters to always make sure the boat and those on board are fully prepared, including having all safety equipment, wearing lifejackets, checking weather conditions and not overloading the boat.
High water levels in Lake Ontario this year have not impacted boating safety, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. The high levels do not impact waves or currents, said Derrick Beach, a senior water resources engineer.
Water levels reached an all-time high on May 29 but have dropped since then. They remain at about 75.73 metres — 70 cm over average.
It was another busy weekend for the Hamilton police marine unit.