Five people who were thrown into the ocean in St. John's after their boat was wrecked on rocks as they were returning from a boating trip.

The family of five was rescued from the water.

The incident reinforces the importance of safety preparedness for those heading out on the water to take part in the silly food fishery. Residents of this promise flock to the water  to take part in the  2012 recreational groundfish fishery which opened on Saturday and runs until August 12th.
 There is a daily bag limit of five groundfish per day (including cod) and a maximum boat limit of 15 fish when three or more people are fishing.

It remains a bit of farce to me that residents of this province have to have permission to catch a handful of cod for meal. We should be able to jig a meal of fish for supper any evening without fear of gestapo recriminations.

In the meantime, the rules are the rules, the importance of wearing a lifejacket can’t be underestimated. People need to inspect their boats and gear to ensure that everything is seaworthy and working properly.

 If I were thinking of taking part in the food fishery along the Eastern Avalon, I would be wearing a survival suit along with my PFD. The water is very cold and a few hours exposure will lead to hypothermia.

Most boating fatalities are caused by a combination of cold-water shock and by not wearing a lifejacket or PFD. The law requires that boat operators carry an approved, properly fitting lifejacket or PFD for each person on board. Lifejackets and PFDs don’t work unless they are worn.

Take extra care and use caution during the fishey.  It is important to respect the power of the ocean surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador.

Every trip begins before the boater leaves the wharf. Loosing your life for a few cod is hardly sensible.