Boaters Beware: Spring Flooding Stirring Up Danger

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The higher water levels we had this spring may have created an added danger for boaters in and near Petawawa. 

The military is reminding people that there’s an increased chance of encountering unexploded ordnance along the Ottawa River shorelines.  

Operations Officer Major Chris Justason, says this means it’s more important than ever to obey the signs in place all along the river, indicating areas to avoid.

"We can likely expect there's an increased possibility of them being uncovered", Maj. Justason told Pure Country 96.7.

If you find something that looks like an unexploded device do not touch it.

The military says you should instead mark the area near the device (if it's safe to do so), then leave the area immediately, and call military police or 911 to report it.

It's hard to say precisely where the higher risk would be, but the military says it's impossible to ensure that every single device that was ever used in an exercise over the years has been cleared.

That's why they want boaters to know the risk is present, particularly at beaches and shorelines near Garrison Petawawa.

"They could always be found somewhere, some point in time; we just want to make sure the public is aware of the risks associated with unexploded ordnance", Maj. Justason said.

Garrison Petawawa issued this statement as part of a public service announcement:

"For your safety, boaters are cautioned to obey all signages and buoys along the Garrison Petawawa bank of the Ottawa River from Black Point to Black Bear Beach. The affected area comprises of 27 hectares of beaches and 167 hectares of river bottom. It is strongly advised that the public obey the posted instructions and do not enter any areas that are indicated as off limits.   The combination of the limitations of even the most advanced UXO detection technologies, sandy beaches, recent high water levels and the constant flow of the river mean there can never be an absolute certainty that all UXO hazards have been detected and removed."