The Thanksgiving long weekend is usually a sign that summer is completely behind us. Most cottage owners use the weekend as an opportunity to close up for the winter months. It can also be the last chance for a boat ride or a canoeing adventure.
While this can be bitter sweet, the summer of 2010 hasn't given Ontarians much to complain about. Officials are crediting the warm weather for an increased number of boats using the Trent-Severn Waterway over the past couple of months.
From mid-May until the end of September, more than 124,000 boats crossed through the locks between Trenton and Port Severn. In 2009, about 123,000 vessels used the locks during the entire year.
With increased activity on the water this year, special teams from the Canadian Coast Guard were out in full force to monitor conditions. The search and rescue crew are on call 24/7 and prepare for whatever Mother Nature brings.
“Our biggest thing is to provide prevention and education to keep people safe on the water,” says Kelly Vosburg with the Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue. “We're always aware of what the weather is, whether it's checking it online, watching it on TV or listening to the continuous marine broadcast.”
The search and rescue branch stretches from the Great Lakes in Thunder Bay all the way to Amhertsburg in Ontario.
The Trent-Severn is closing on Tuesday, but officials warn eager boaters who choose to remain on the water to continue to take precaution.
“People on the water can help us by making sure they have all of their safety equipment on board, that they are aware of the weather that is coming and if they do run into problems to make sure they either call us or the police,” explains Vosburg.
Be sure to check our Marine Forecast before heading out on the waterways. For the latest details on the weather in your area you can click on our Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV as the Regional Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.
With files from the Canadian Press.