Water safety

Bruce Peninsula National Park

If you’re planning to swim at Bruce Peninsula National Park or Fathom Five National Marine Park, read this first.

What are the risks?

  • Swimming is unsupervised at all park locations. You are responsible for your own safety. 
  • Rocky shorelines are slippery when wet.  
  • There may be rocks, other swimmers and scuba divers below the water surface that you can’t see. 
  • The water is cold, even during summer. 
  • The water depth can drop off quickly and be very deep, even at sandy beaches.
  • Weather and water conditions can change quickly. 
  • The water can be very rough (wavy). Strong waves may pull you away from shore or smash you up against the rocks.  
  • Off-shore winds can blow your inflatables way out. 
  • Emergency rescue may take a long time (e.g. an hour or more) at many park locations. 
  • Cell phone reception is not reliable in many parts of these parks. 

What can you do to stay safe? 

  • Never swim alone. Swim with a buddy. 
  • Watch your children at all times. Never leave them alone in or near water. 
  • Know your swimming limitations and stay within them. Don’t try to keep up with more experienced or stronger swimmers. 
  • Weak swimmers and children should wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD).
  • Stay out of the water when waves are high.   
  • Swim close to shore in shallow water. 
  • Look below. Don’t jump or dive in shallow or rocky areas.  
  • Don’t consume drugs or alcohol before or while swimming. 
  • In an emergency, dial 911. 

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