Fishing Safety

Fishing has opened back up for the season, Saturday, May 13 - which is an exciting time for a lot of
fisherpersons, coming off of enjoying ice fishing! Even though it is an exciting time, don’t forget that safety
comes first and to take the time to read over this year’s safety tips and reminders.
There are a number of different safety tips and reminders issued every year, and it’s always a great idea to
polish up the old safety skills. With the water still being rather cold this time of year, it is important for
individuals out fishing to wear a life-jacket in case you fall into the water. This is one of the easiest tips that
have been drilled into our heads since we were young, but one of the most important, as the cold water at this
time of year easily shocks our bodies and doesn’t allow for a lot of reaction time once you are in the water to
save yourself.
In an interview with Discover Westman Kevin Tordiffe, Operations Manager Lifesaving Society - Manitoba
Branch said, “Long before hypothermia becomes an issue we really have to think about things like cold shock
which can set up within the first minutes that you end up in the water. Your body reacts by starting to gasp for
air. And if that happens at a point when you're struggling to keep your head above the surface of the water, you
can take water into your lungs and into your body and it's going to cause some serious problems. And then,
after that first minute, if you've managed to control your breathing, you really only have about ten minutes of
meaningful movement where you're going to have the muscle strength to get yourself up and out of the water."
It is also important to note that the water is running much faster this time of year – regardless if you are fishing
from shore or on a boat take note and be careful of the speed of the water. If you are boating be extra cautious
that you have enough life jackets for everyone in the boat. Be safe and have fun this fishing season!
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