FoTTSA Boating and Swimming Safety Survey: Results

In 2001, Tiny’s Council created a Small Watercraft Committee. During the consultation period, the need for speed restrictions received significant support. At that time the limit for power driven vessels operating within 30 metres of the shoreline was 10 km/h in all of Ontario. Tiny Township applied for and received an extension of the 10 km/h speed limit to 300 meters off shore in 2003 because of the shallow water along the shore from Concessions 1 through 16. (Tow boats for water skiers are exempt from the speed limit when heading directly away from or toward the shore.) The OPP is the enforcing body but at present enforcing the speed limit is almost impossible because the 300 m line is not marked in any way.
Here are the results of the FoTTSA Boating and Water Safety Survey  along with a preliminary summary of the key suggestions and issues from the nearly 200 written comments that were submitted. The high response rate confirms that water safety is an important concern, as is the sometimes difficult relationship between PWCs and other shoreline users.
While many opinions were expressed, there were several action points with strong, wide ranging support:
– the installation of signage about the speed restriction at Jackson Park, public beach access points, marinas and PWC rental locations
– a much more visible OPP presence on the water during the summer
– a public awareness/education campaign using existing Township resources (site, social media, regular mailings) and local media
Based on the survey results and the comments, it was clear that a majority support the installation of buoys at key points in front of public beaches, especially those with significant PWC activity.  Watch for more information in the Spring 2019 issue of The Tiny Cottager.