Now that summer has begun, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) would like to remind everyone to stay safe and have fun when spending time on the River of Golden Dreams and Whistler’s lakes.
Top 8 ways to safely enjoy Whistler’s rivers and lakes:
- Use appropriate equipment. Inflatable boats and other water toys easily deflate and capsize and are not suitable for floating on the River of Golden Dreams.
- Wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD). According to federal law, you must have a Canadian approved lifejacket or PFD while in a boat, inner tube, paddle board, raft or other flotation device. The maximum fine for violation is $500.
- Do not mix water and alcohol. Whistler’s rivers, lakes and beaches are public places, and the consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited. Alcohol increases the risk of hypothermia, increases fatigue, impairs decision-making and slows reaction time.
- Know the signs of drowning. Drowning does not typically involve screaming and waving hands, unlike the way it is often portrayed in the movies. In fact it can often be completely silent.
- Do not litter. Please properly dispose of inflatable boats and water toys that have deflated, along with any garbage and recycling such as bottles and cans, in the appropriate bins.
- Obey all rules and posted signs. Whistler’s lakes, beaches and the River of Golden Dreams are not monitored by lifeguards. Be prepared for self-rescue, and never travel alone.
- Reduce the potential of swimmer’s itch. Wear waterproof sunscreen, avoid areas with lots of weed growth, and towel off vigorously or shower immediately after leaving the water. Learn more about swimmer’s itch at whistler.ca/beachwaterquality
- Watch out for boats on Green Lake and Alta Lake. Motor boating is only permitted on Green Lake and Alta Lake with speed restrictions.
"While our lakes and rivers are wonderful ways to cool down in the summer heat, it is important that people are safe and respectful of others around them,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
“Sadly, tragic and preventable water-related accidents do occur. Taking simple steps like using proper equipment, avoiding alcohol and knowing the signs of drowning can make all the difference in keeping our water resources safe places for everyone to play.”
RCMP are conducting regular patrols of beaches and rivers to enforce boating and liquor regulations.
Learn more about Whistler’s beaches and parks at whistler.ca/summer101.