It didn’t take long for a tragedy to hit the food fishery in this province. During the opening weekend, a boat flipped off Bell Island and three people ended up in the frigid waters. One man died from the incident.
Reports say he wasn’t wearing a life-jacket.
The food fishery is meant to be a chance for people in this province to have a little fun on the water and at the same time get some food for their tables.
It called a recreational fishery for a reason — it isn’t worth dying over.
Professional fishermen who are on their boats most of the year in all conditions too often don’t wear life-jackets ... but they know the risks and are making a living by what they do.
Those who gear up a couple of times a year to haul in a cod or two aren’t in the same situation and they need to make sure they aren’t putting their lives at risk.
If the ocean is rough, the wind is high or conditions are tentative — stay home and live to fish another day.
But most of all, wear a life-jacket.
The rules say they don’t have to be worn but there must be a life-jacket within reach for every person aboard the boat.
But that isn’t good enough.
The rules should be clear — anyone in a small boat should have to have a life-jacket on ... not just handy.
There is no reason that shouldn’t be required.
Until the regulations are changed, anyone in a small craft should be wise enough to give themselves the best chance of survival by wearing a life-jacket.