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Water Safety in Mild Weather

March 17, 2010 — An Ontario man died yesterday when his canoe flipped over in the Newmarket River. Click the video to the left for more on water safety in the spring.

A day on the water turned tragic after an Ontario man died in a canoe mishap on Tuesday.

The 55 year-old man was paddling on the Newmarket River, north of Toronto, when he was swept away in a fast current. He then went over a two metre-high dam.

The water levels in the area were very high at the time -- higher than normal levels. And that partly thanks to the weather.

'Any snow or ice that's left is melting, and that's causing extra runoff,' says Weather Network meteorologist Brian Dillon. 'This kind of melting happens every year, but it is currently being enhanced by the above-seasonal temperatures we're seeing in southern Ontario.'

Police say an accident like this should serve as a reminder to the public NOT to let their guard down when the weather is nice.

'We can't emphasize enough that this is still spring and there's still is a lot of melt,' said Inspector Doug Conley of the York Regional Police. 'The water levels are higher than normal. When they get to areas like this they tend to move quite fast and we need to caution people.'

Conley has these tips for anyone heading out during this mild spell:

- Be prepared

- Know the area

- Stay out of the water

- Keep children and pets away from from fast-moving water and river banks

It's going to be warm and sunny in southern Ontario again today. For all the latest information, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National and Regional forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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