Fatal Boating Collision on Lake Joseph, OPP is Investigating

The West Parry Sound Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) continues to investigate the fatal boating collision involving two vessels on Lake Joseph near Emerald Island in Seguin Township, which occurred on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at approximately 11:30 p.m.

Gary POLTASH, age 64, from Florida, United States of America, was fatally injured at the scene.

On August 27, 2019, Susanne BRITO, age 48, from Uxbridge, Ontario, succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Three other occupants from the boats involved suffered injuries in the collision; all were treated and released from the hospital.

Any person with information regarding this incident or who may have been in the area of Emerald Island on Lake Joseph on August 24, 2019 is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

2 Replies to “Fatal Boating Collision on Lake Joseph, OPP is Investigating”

  1. Unfortunately, every summer a number of people die or are seriously injured in boating accidents. Since there has been a crack down on alcohol use out on the water, inattentiveness and complacency are usually the number one factors.

    I see these types of behavior on a constant basis. Like the rules of the road there are similar laws for boating. Staying safe only takes the appropriate nautical chart and a Chart #1 booklet (Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms) available from The Canadian Hydrographic Services by calling 1-888-247-5465 or logging on to https://geoportal.gc.ca/eng/Maps/Viewer/9

    Scanning the following marine chart of Lake Joseph you will notice a few dangerous obstructions around Emerald Island and Island K, located at the mouth of Hamer Bay.

    A plus sign (+) indicates a dangerous underwater rock of 2m. (6 ft.) or less.

    A number in brackets (1), (2), (3), (5) and (10) indicates a rock which does not cover with elevation.

    The squiggly purple lines indicates submarine power cables which may or may not interfere with your boating electronics. (i.e. Electricity passing through a wire, or cable in this instance, does produce a strong magnetic field.)

    Whether or not these dangerous obstructions led to this horrifying accident remains to be seen. In any case, it will give you a heads up as to the perils that are lurking under the water just about everywhere you launch your boat.

    I can not stress enough the extreme danger in which you place your life and that of your loved ones by being inattentive and complacent.

    Finally, my wife and I pass along our heart felt love and condolences to everyone involved in this tragic accident. May God comfort them in their time of need.

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