SARNIA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2012) - Search and Rescue stations in Kingston, Cobourg, Port Weller, Port Dover and Amherstburg will open today, March 23rd 2012. The early opening is an effort to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities on the waterways.
The Coast Guard warns that despite the warm weather, water temperatures are still cold enough to cause hypothermia in a relatively short period of time. Boaters are urged to wear Personal Floatation Devices, and to bring one for each person. History has shown that the chance of survival greatly increases if an individual is wearing a personal floatation device. Also, be sure to file a sail plan. Tell someone where you're headed and when you'll be back.
The Canadian Coast Guard encourages boaters to include the marine weather forecast in their pre-departure and boating activities. Heavy rains and high winds associated with extreme weather can flood and capsize boats. The marine weather forecast, issued three times daily by Environment Canada, contains important weather information that can save lives. The marine forecast can be found online at: http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/marine/index_e.html
In the event of an emergency, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton can be reached at 1-800-267-7270.
The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for providing maritime resources in support of Search and Rescue in areas of federal responsibility. On the Great Lakes, Canadian Coast Guard stations are seasonal, operating during the traditional recreational boating season from April through December.
The Canadian Coast Guard will open several of its seasonal Search and Rescue stations in Ontario two to three weeks earlier than the traditional start dates. The unseasonably mild weather has many boaters heading out onto the waterways much earlier than usual. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Stations in Kingston, Cobourg, Port Weller, Port Dover and Amherstburg will open March 23rd, two to three weeks ahead of schedule. The Coast Guard warns that despite the warm weather, water temperatures are still cold enough to cause hypothermia in a relatively short period of time.