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Large number of groundings
involving pleasure craft

The statistics compiled by the Canadian Coast Guard show that there were many groundings by pleasure craft in 2010, particularly in the metropolitan area. This situation could well be connected to water levels, which remained exceptionally low in that area throughout the summer of 2010. The graphic below shows that in recent years, there has been a marked correlation between low water levels and a high number of groundings.

Chart - Number of Groundings and Water Levels

From June to September 2010, the mean water level recorded by the Canadian Hydrographic Service in the Port of Montréal— -4 cm—was below chart datum for 75 days, 61 percent of the time. Pleasure craft groundings were particularly numerous in 2007 and 2010, two years during which water levels were very low. The same situation was observed in 1999, 2001 and 2005.

A public notice reminding users of the measures to take to safely navigate in low water conditions was issued in the spring. To prepare for the next season, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue its efforts to raise awareness amongst pleasure boaters.

Low water levels in the St. Lawrence: Pleasure craft operators and mariners are urged to use caution
Notice of public interest – June 2010

Robert Dorais