Missing Kayaker Located

(Innisfil, ON)  On Sunday, May 24, 2020, at approximately 3:00 p.m., an Innisfil man launched his kayak from the beach at Innisfil Beach Park in Innisfil. Around 6:30 p.m., a worried relative called police after the man failed to return home and the weather was worsening. The kayaker’s vehicle was the located at the park but calls to his cell phone went unanswered. Working with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, officers from the South Simcoe Police Service and York Regional Police Marine Units launched a search due to poor lake conditions and inclement weather that included heavy rain, high winds and tornado warnings. At 9:50 p.m., police were notified that the missing man had returned to shore and was safe and sound. County of Simcoe Paramedics attended the scene and cleared him medically. During the course of the search, it was determined that the man’s cell phone had been left at home.

South Simcoe Police Service would like to remind residents about the importance of staying safe while out on the water. This man was lucky and thankfully wearing a life jacket. However, a poor decision to embark on the water in the midst of several storm warnings not only put his life at risk, but also the lives of our officers and York Regional Police officers who had to go out in risky conditions to try to find him.

Follow these tips to ensure your safety:

Check the weather before heading out and be alert to changing conditions

Tell someone where you plan to go, your route, and when you plan to return

Wear a life jacket or personal flotation device

Carry a fully-charged cell phone

Always boat sober

Know the laws and regulations and take a boating safety course

Inspect your boat before heading out on the water. Make sure you have all the proper equipment and there are no leaks or damage

Keep extra fuel on hand

Don’t boat or fish alone

Bring good sunglasses, sunscreen and appropriate clothing

Paddles, whistles and flares should be part of the kit on your vessel

Operate your watercraft at a safe speed as you may have to stop or turn suddenly to avoid a collision

Consider visibility conditions, the fog, mist, rain and darkness, including wind, water conditions, currents and any navigational hazards (rocks and tree stumps)

Be courteous of others using the waterways and obey all boating rules

Keep an eye out for swimmers and other boaters, and always have a spotter for those water-skiers and tube riders