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Teen charged with careless driving after crashing boat into wake

All three young occupants were ejected into the water; OPP say properly fitted life jackets allowed the trio to escape injury or drowning
June 5 2020 vessel
This outboard motor-powered Walker Bay centre console vessel was damaged after the operator struck its own wake, catapulting all three young occupants into Georgian Bay. OPP Photo

PENETANGUISHENE - Members of the Marine Unit attached to the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with uniform members were dispatched at 8:44 p.m. on June 5, 2020 to a report of a vessel collision on the shoreline of the Bob Sullivan Memorial Park at Burke and Yeo Streets in the Town of Penetanguishene.

Members of the Penetanguishene Fire Service also attended the scene and assisted in the investigation.

Through investigation and support of witnesses, officers at the scene learned that an outboard motor powered Walker Bay centre console vessel had struck its own wake in the area of the channel markers out front of the park and ejected all three young occupants into the water.

The now-unoccupied vessel continued in a forward motion into shore, striking a park bench and coming to rest in a gazebo at the shoreline.

No persons were injured on shore and the three occupants of the vessel who were all wearing life jackets were picked up from the water by a good Samaritan boater and returned to their vessel. The vessel occupants were checked for injuries by the attending County of Simcoe Paramedics and released.

The 16-year-old male operator was issued a offence notice for - Operation of a Vessel in a Careless Manner under the Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act as a result of the collision investigation.

OPP Marine officers stress that due to the fact that all three occupants of the involved vessel were wearing properly fitted life jackets, they escaped injury or drowning in this incident.

Vessel operators and passengers are reminded that area waters are still cold despite the sunny weather of late. The need to check your vessel for having all the required safety equipment is as always very important and unfortunately only tested in the case of an emergency. Remember Life Jackets only work if you Wear Them!