Put the "ing" in your Boating

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Call: 1-519-538-2887

cell-phoneAs you all know, cell phones have a short life and have to be replaced to keep up with technology. Doug’s phone started acting erratically one day, so we went to the local store and purchased a new flip phone with camera and all the extras. There was a hefty price tag attached, but the salesperson said we could get it free if he signed up for three years. He did.

Doug was so pleased with his new phone and later that day, we went down to the boat to test the signal. Because he hadn’t picked out a new “holster” (the phone didn’t fit the old one), he simply put it in his jacket pocket not realizing what would happen next.

We decided to try out the signal around the harbour and how far it would reach out on the Bay. So, we prepared to leave the dock and go boating. Doug excitedly untied the lines and as he leaned over to lay the amidships line on the dock, his new phone flipped out of his pocket and went straight down between the boat and the dock. He watched the bubbles surface as it made its way 12’ to the bottom. You can imagine the words that came to mind.

Diving for Phone

Our plans quickly changed and Doug decided to dive for his phone. Remembering the hefty pricetag to replace it, we thought maybe, we could get it replaced under warranty? To do that, we needed the phone even if it was soaked and not working.

diving-harbour-phoneEquipped in his mask, snorkel and fins, he dove into the water to rescue his new toy. We didn’t even consider any danger that could be lurking. The water was clear, no turbulence. He searched for some time, but the dock cast a shadow and it was too cloudy to see at that depth with a “dusty” silt bottom. Finally, he gave up.

The Danger

Then, we learned of the danger. Our Harbour Master informed us that no one should be swimming in the harbour this week. He was about to put up the sign. It seems that the town had just decided to pour chemicals into the water to control weeds that were growing in parts of the harbour. Problem is that the chemical is injurious to human health. He told us that the chemical wouldn’t be harmful after a week but that didn’t help us. Now he tells us!

cell-phone-harbourHow many other harbours are doing this before they post the signs or not put up signs at all? We can all remember a few decades back when the manufacturers and users of products like DDT, Urea Formaldehyde, Lead Solder, Tobacco, etc. promoted them as safe. We know better now.

Lucky for Doug

Doug went through a chemical detox and didn’t suffer any long term health effects.

Who do you trust? How do they know? Who do you believe? What chemicals are being used to wash boats in the harbour? What’s in the runoff from town or nearby farms?

Just because you can’t see anything in the water, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Err on the side of safety.

Don’t swim in the harbour until you are satisfied that it is safe from chemical pollutants, pesticides, sewage, heavy metals, oil, fuel, agricultural runoff and anything else that could be injurious to your health. We will be swimming in the lake from now on--not the harbour!

Our next article will be about another major, invisible danger in all harbours.

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Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

who in their right mind would go in the water at "ANY" harbor???? WE all know what boaters do with their waste water while docked at harbors.....gross!!!!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I was kinda expecting a mention of stray electrical currents! Could be quickly fatal, though more likely a problem at older and less well maintained marinas. But of course, any kind of pollution can be dangerous!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

We are fortunate enough to be in a country where it is against the law to discharge black water overboard. Boats here have no overboard discharge fitting. All black water has to be disposed of at a shore based pump-out facility. Any visiting...

We are fortunate enough to be in a country where it is against the law to discharge black water overboard. Boats here have no overboard discharge fitting. All black water has to be disposed of at a shore based pump-out facility. Any visiting boats must have their overboard discharge valve sealed before entering Canadian waters. It has been this way since the late 1960's.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Even had the harbour water been pure and safe, diving for the phone would be a waste of time. Unless the phone was waterproof (there are a few waterproof “mil-spec” phones available), that phone was toast. I lost two phones to water damage around...

Even had the harbour water been pure and safe, diving for the phone would be a waste of time. Unless the phone was waterproof (there are a few waterproof “mil-spec” phones available), that phone was toast. I lost two phones to water damage around the dock before getting a waterproof model. Cell phone warranties do not cover damage by water. The phone has a water-sensitive tab inside that turns pink if water gets into the phone. As soon as the service technician sees that pink tab, they will reject your warranty claim. So might as well be honest with them right from the start.

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