Police tips for safe boating and swimming in Burlington, Oakville, Milton


Published August 22, 2022 at 5:02 pm

As summer comes to a close, Halton police want to reminder boaters and swimmers in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills about water safety.

The Halton Regional Police is responsible for patrolling approximately 325 square kilometres of waters at the western end of Lake Ontario.

“Our priority is to ensure that all those who spend time on or near the water, do so safely,” said a HRPS spokesperson.

“Please review the following recommendations and do your part in keeping our community safe.”

For swimmers

  • Please review all postings in relation to beach swimming. These are posted as precautions
  • None of the beachfronts in Halton are monitored by lifeguards; swimming is at your own risk
  • There are no ‘swim-only’ areas on the Lake Ontario shore. Please do your part to share the water
  • Ensure you don’t ‘out swim’ or ‘out float’ your capabilities
  • Keep an eye on the wind. It does not take much to push you offshore

For boaters, before hitting the water, there are important safety items all vessels must have:

  • a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket for each person onboard,
  • a sound signalling device,
  • a 15 meter buoyant heaving line,
  • a watertight flashlight (at night or if reduced visibility).
  • You should not operate a watercraft if you are impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • When operating near the shore, you must:
  • yield the right of way to swimmers and sail-powered vessels
  • use caution when entering any swimming areas
  • operate at a speed 10km/h or less within 30 meters of the shore
  • Drowning Prevention

Every year, about 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents.

When it comes to children, supervision is essential to preventing injuries and providing a fun but safe environment for them to enjoy the water.

When supervising children in or near the water:

  • Actively supervise, meaning eyes on the child at all times
  • Stay within arms’ reach. Every second counts

For adults, factors in water-related fatalities often include alcohol consumption and difficulty navigating changes in water current. Don’t consume alcohol before or during swimming or boating activities.

When on a vessel, ensure everyone has a well fitted lifejacket on and fastened.

Drowning does not look like it does in the movies. Be on the watch for:

  • climbing ladder motion
  • head tilted back
  • body vertical
  • facing shore/lip of pool
  • mouth at water level
  • eyes glassy

For more information, visit the Halton police website.

INhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies