Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Man in a blue kayak on clear water wearing a PFD.

While swimming, boating and other water activities are central elements of many adventures in Ontario parks, there are also risks associated with these activities.

We want our visitors to be safe when they hit the waves.

And that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device)!

Do you need a life jacket?

The PARKsmart PFD loan program is taking place in 70 parks across the province. At any of the participating parks, campers can borrow a PFD, FREE.

Staff helping the paddler,

Started in 2003, the goal of this program is to raise awareness about water safety and reduce the risk of drowning or injuries related to water activities.

The PFDs offered through the program are available for both adults and childrenand can be purchased through a park staff member.

Borrowing a PFD will make your trip safer and more enjoyable!

Thanks to our amazing partners!

Thanks to the continued support of Ontario Power Generation, our provincial parks are excited to help keep our visitors safe with PARKsmart’s PFD loan program.

The facts about water safety

Statistics support the need for a life jacket: 95% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Anxiety, waves, clothing and cold water can work against you when you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

A PFD is just the beginning of water safety. Following Ontario Parks water safety principles will ensure fun and safe activities on the water.

See also  5 reasons to visit Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Water Safety Principles

Here are some water safety principles to remember when visiting our parks:

1. There is no lifebuoy on our beaches. Parents, children are your responsibility.

2. Always supervise children and those who do not know how to swim. Supervise children and ask them to wear a life jacket when near water. Never leave a child alone, even for a moment. This means watching them every second they are in the water. And when the water is rough or there is a chance of a riptide, STAY OUT!

3. Have children and non-swimmers wear a PFD when near water.

A Learn to Fish employee teaches children how to fish

4. Never swim alone. Everyone should always swim with a partner.

5. learn to swim and learn prevention, water survival and rescue skills.

6. Offshore winds push inflatables into dangerous waters. Use inflatable rafts or toys only in shallow water areas. Swim towards shore if you go into deeper areas.

Two women on paddle boards with life jackets.

7. Be responsible. Avoid alcohol when participating in water-related recreational activities. A non-alcoholic drink, especially water, will keep you hydrated.

8. Protect your neck. Never dive in shallow or unknown waters.

9. If you suspect a drowning or any other type of water emergency, call 911 and/or contact the Park Office immediately.

Be safe, have fun and wear your PFD!