After Lac La Biche peace officers received two calls last week sending them out to Lac La Biche Lake, one involving a person who drowned, and the other about a boat in distress, Chris Clark, supervisor of the Municipal Peace Officers, would like to warn the public about staying safe on the water.
“We just want to remind people that if they are out on the water to make sure they have all of their emergency equipment that is required,” said Clark.
“Whoever is operating the boat must have their operator card, there needs to be a life jacket for every person onboard the vessel, and we want to make sure they have things like a first aid kit, and emergency signalling devices like flairs or whistles to call for help.”
Residents should also let a family member or friend know where they will be launching from and roughly how long they are expecting to be out on the water.
This allows for emergency services to be called in a timely manner if the boater is taking longer than expected.
Clark would also like to remind residents that drinking while on a boat is illegal, unless the boat has a bathroom and a cooking facility, and it is anchored.
Drinking while boating is extremely dangerous, as shown in the 2018 Alberta Drowning Report where 72 per cent of the province’s drowning victims are male, and they are often intoxicated.
This is why it’s important to abide by the rules of the water and keep alcohol off of the boat.
“We want people to make sure they are being responsible when they are out on the water and that they are not drinking because that increases the risk of injury or death,” said Clark.