Wednesday, 12 June 2019 13:22

How To Call For Help In A Boating Emergency

Your boat is in danger, a passenger has fallen overboard, or you’re stranded on open water. How do you get help? Minutes matter. Make sure you know what do before you face a boating emergency. It could make the difference between life and death.

 

The most effective and reliable way to issue a distress alert is with a marine VHF radio. Keep your radio tuned to channel 16 and know your location at all times.

 

If you are in grave and imminent danger, use channel 16 to contact the Coast Guard and repeat MAYDAY three times. Then give the name and position of your vessel, the nature of your emergency, and the type of assistance you need.

 

If you need help but you are not in immediate danger, use channel 16 and repeat PAN PAN three times. Then give the name and position of your vessel, the nature of your emergency, and the type of assistance you need.

 

Only use channel 16 for emergency and calling purposes. To continue a conversation with another vessel, change to another channel.

 

One benefit of VHF radio is that in addition to the Coast Guard, other vessels in the area will also hear your distress call and can come to your aid.

 

New VHF radios can also issue a digital alert with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on channel 70.To make a digital call, your radio must have a nine-digit Marine Mobile Service Identity (MMSI), which is assigned free of charge by Industry Canada. DSC service is available on the east and west coasts and in the high arctic.

 

Many cell phone providers offer a *16 service, which connects you to the nearest Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre. Cell phones are not a good substitute for VHF radios because other vessels in the area can’t hear your distress call and rescuers can’t identify your position or follow your signal back to your vessel. A global positioning system is one of the most useful tools in providing accurate information on your position. The use of a cell phone is not an approved method of issuing a distress signal.

 

Training on the use of a Maritime Radio is recommended and now available from Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will receive your Recognized Operator Certificate (Maritime).

 

For more information on the Global Maritime Distress and the Safety System, visit www.csbc.ca.

Published in General Interest
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 13:22

Lifejackets & Lucky Fishing Hats

Fishing is so popular that well over 50% of the boats sold in Canada are used at least in part for fishing. By far, the most popular boats for this activity are small open powerboats under 6 meters in length. Coincidentally, between 2009 & 2013, boats of this type were involved in 26% of the boating-related fatalities according to the Lifesaving Society’s 2016 Drowning Report.

Contrary to popular opinion, simply having a lifejacket aboard the boat alone isn’t necessarily going to be enough to prevent a catastrophic outcome. In approximately 80% of boating-related fatalities, victims weren’t wearing their lifejackets. Often times, a wave or wake from another boat can not only knock a boater into the water but also carry their boat away leaving them in the middle of a lake without any floatation and they drown.

In this day and age, there really isn’t any excuse not to wear a lifejacket. Manufacturers have designed purpose-built units that not only provide comfort and allow ease of casting but also have pockets and clips to keep tackle, tools and other necessities at arm’s reach. They’re even available in a camouflage pattern!

Inflatable lifejackets, too, provide a great option for anglers. They are cool, comfortable, allow for full arm motion and are completely adjustable. They can be deployed either manually or automatically and come in both vest and fanny pack models. The only conditions associated with inflatable lifejacket wear are that they must be worn to be legal and aren’t legal when the wearer is engaged in an activity where they could be knocked unconscious. Also, the wearer must be 16 years of age or older.

No matter what type or style of lifejacket an angler chooses, they should be treated like their lucky fishing hat in that they only work when they’re worn. The Canadian Safe Boating Council understands that we’ve gotten our families hooked on fishing. We just want to get everyone hooked on lifejackets as well!

Published in General Interest

Many fisherfolk in the area may have thought it was too wet and rainy to go fishing last Saturday, but the weather didn’t faze the 27 blind anglers and their 16 pro guides from venturing out on Kennebec Lake for the 31st annual Blind Anglers International Tournament (B.A.I.T.). This was the second consecutive year it’s been held at Springwood Cottages on Kennebec Lake, and organizers said they plan to return for next year’s tournament.

“This was our second year here, but we’ve still got some wrinkles to work out so we’re going to do it again next year,” said tournament chair Paul Riddell. The tournament is hosted by the Stittsville Lions Club.

This year, the top prize, Catch of the Day, went to Martin Collicott, an “American by birth but from Orleans now,” for a total weight of 12 pounds, including a seven-pound pike.

His guide, Ottawa’s Scott Campbell, representing AIM Marine, said the lunker pike was caught on a No. 3 Mepps.

“It was windy and wet and the best fishing ever,” said Collicott. “Scott was really good at picking spots.

“I’ve only missed three of these tournaments since 2000.”

Collicott said that being a Maritimer, being on the water is second nature to him.

“I grew up catching brook trout,” he said. “But when my eyes went south I kinda missed all that.

“This tournament is a good chance to get all that back.”

He said this was his first Catch of the Day win.

“It’s my second trophy though,” he said. “I did win biggest walleye one year and I had a big pike in the boat but lost it when we tried to get a picture.

“This pike is the biggest fish that never got away.”

Mike Thompson from Eganville shared the boat with Collicott and Campbell.

“I’ve been in about 20 of these, including that one time with Catch of the Day,” he said. “I always have a good time.”

And so do the guides.

“It’s such a fun day,” said pro Bob Boyer. “I’ll do it til the day I die.”

One of the biggest laughs of the day was provided by Coun. Tom Dewey, who brought greetings on behalf of Central Frontenac Township.

With the rain coming down outside, Dewey said in all seriousness: “It’s apparent to me that the anglers participating in this tournament look forward to this very special experience, whether they are catching a fish, or just sitting in the boat with the warm sun rays embracing their face,” at which point his wife Shirley reminded him it had been pouring rain all day, to the delight of the laughing crowd.

Published in CENTRAL FRONTENAC

Granite Ridge Educational Centre can add a couple more names to its growing list of accomplished athletes.

Grade 12s Devin Cooney and Nick Anderson have returned home from the Youth Invitational Special Olympics in Toronto last week (May 14-17) with a total medal haul of five, including two golds.

Cooney took the gold in shot put and silver in both the 200 metres and 400 metres. He was also fifth in the long jump.

Anderson won gold in the long jump and a bronze in the 100 metres (both personal bests) and added a sixth in the shot put.

“This was a big deal because there were 2,500 athletes from all across North America, including Cayman Islands and Jamaica,” said coach Tammy Steele.

“There were athletes from Chicago, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec,” said Cooney.

The guys are no strangers to athletic competition. Last year, Cooney was on a gold-medal winning basketball team from the school and Anderson took gold on the soccer team. Albeit, those were much smaller events.

Cooney actually likes basketball best, he said, citing Michael Jordan as the best ever. But the Invitational in Toronto was “a lot of fun, evenly fun with basketball.”

Anderson prefers the field events, such as long jump, despite winning bronze in the 100 metres.

“With the running events, after a while my legs hurt,” he said, explaining that he’s had a bout of shin splints lately. “But my goal is to be a weightlifter like my Uncle Murray.”

(Murray Anderson has had considerable success in strongman competitions, including two 12th-place finishes in Ontario’s Strongest Man in 2005 and 2007.)

Both Cooney and Anderson, like most athletes, remember the food at the competition.

“They had good breakfast, lunch and supper,” said Cooney. “And cappuccinos.”

“And Ice-caps,” said Anderson.

Next year, the Invitational is scheduled to be held in Kingston and both athletes are looking forward to it, albeit for different reasons.

The school is looking at taking most of the student body to the Kingston meet to cheer them on.

“The student body is coming to watch?” asked Cooney. “I want that!

“I guess I’ll really have to train harder.” Anderson said that while he likes the idea of competing, having a lot of people there watching him really isn’t his thing.

“No, not really, anxiety,” he said.

The Toronto Invitational marked 50th year of Special Olympics since its inception by Dr. Frank Hyden and Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968.

Published in CENTRAL FRONTENAC

Flooding, washouts, impassable trails and terrible conditions forced the postponement of the Spring ATV Ride for Dad in Ompah for a week, but even though it corresponded with the Mother’s Day weekend, organizers were still pleased that about 400 drivers and passengers that came out last Saturday.

Byron Smith of Ride for Dad said they’ve been coming up here for about eight years and even though numbers were down slightly this year, it’s still important to them.

“It’s important for us to get word to smaller communities,” Smith said. “The big attraction to this event is that so many participate.

“We get guys coming to us saying that because of this event, they got their prostate checked and it was caught in time.”

He said they still got plenty of pledges and sold some memorabilia.

“All the money we raise goes right into cutting edge research,” he said. “We don’t put any money into bricks and mortar.”

And even though the event had to be put off for a week, it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the participants.

“It was fun, and for a good cause,” said Beverly Bulman, who lives in Bailieboro but has a cottage in the area.

“I’ll go anywhere to ride a trail like this one,” said Roger Rocha of Ottawa.

Published in NORTH FRONTENAC

It’s in the books; the PeeWee Frontenac Flyers are the Ontario Minor Hockey Association CC champions, having beaten the Ilderton Jets 5-1 last Saturday evening at Ilderton.

The series went five games, with the Flyers winning the first two at home, by identical 4-1 scores. The Jets won the next two, in Ilderton, 4-1 and 6-1, setting up the iconic clash for all the marbles.

“I was very nervous going in, but confident,” said Flyers head coach Al Pixley. “Like every game in the series, the team that scored first won the game.

“And we scored first.”

That first goal came early in the opening frame, but Ilderton tied it up before the period ended.

Coming out for the second, tied 1-1, the Flyers started playing like they have been all year, and before you knew it, they had built a 3-1 lead.

“This was the best defensive game our forwards played all year,” Pixley said. “They played like I hoped they would.

“Ilderton did have their chances though and when they threatened to score, our goalie, Severing Steele kept us in it.”

The Flyers added an insurance goal in the third and in the waning minutes, Braden Dillon notched an empty netter to put the final nail in the Jets’ coffin.

Beau Reade scored two for the winners, with Blake Buchanan and Vann Thomas adding singles.

“We scored two late goals in the second but Ilderton didn’t quit,” Pixley said. “But after we got one in the third, they kind of conceded the loss.

“But we had our backs to the wall in this one, and like I said before, if Ilderton had beaten us, they would have deserved to win.

“But we beat them and I think we deserved it.”

He said there were plenty of Flyers supporters in the stands too.

“Many parents drove down the day before and stayed overnight, so we were kind of relaxed with the drive out of the way,” he said. “And there were a lot of former Flyers living in the area who came out for the game too.”

Pixley had much praise for the coaching staff of Derek Joynt, Ian Irving, Travis Young and Sean Reade.

“They did a marvelous job,” he said.

With this season in the books, Pixley said he hasn’t really thought much about next season, partially because he was leaving Monday for a much-deserved vacation in Barbados. But when asked, he did admit to some excitement when he did think about it.

“We should have five or six core players returning,” he said. “And there will be some good Atoms moving up, including coach Jamie Craig.

“I’m excited and have a lot of respect for Jamie.

“After all, we’re only five months away from tryouts.”

Published in General Interest
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 13:14

GREC hosts archery championships

The GREC gym somewhat resembled a mediaeval competition last Thursday as the Gryphons hosted teams from Holy Cross Secondary in Kingston, the North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne and Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth for a National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) championship.

“The program was designed in Kentucky and now we have 18 million kids participating worldwide,” said Tim Watts, who helps run the program in Ontario. “And not one insurance claim.”

Safety is paramount for obvious reasons. The participants are regulated and told when to approach the shooting line, when to shoot and when to retrieve their arrows.

Watts said all shooters use the same Mathews compound bows.

“That’s so a Grade 4 can hand the bow to a grade 12 and not have to adjust anything,” he said.

There are 125 schools in Ontario active in the program and more than 500 teachers trained, he said.

“The schools purchase the equipment (at 65 per cent of retail) and we train their teachers,” he said.

Shawn Lavender and Jamie McCullough run the program at GREC.

“This is our 4th year participating in the tournament,” said McCullough. “This is our second live and we’ve been in two virtual tournaments.

“When we found out they were looking for a host site, we offered ours.”

“Archery addresses students that don’t normally participate in group sports,” said Lavender. “It’s a bit of a niche in that you’re competing for a personal best all the time.

“And there’s a lot of camaraderie.”

He said they had six archers when they began and have 15 now, including students in the community program members.

“We’re trying to offer a variety of sports,” said McCullough. “Including ultimate frisbee and we even have a fishing team.”

They even lured retired teacher, Tom Corneil, out of retirement to help out with the younger members.

“I enjoy archery,” he said. “You can do it anywhere.

“And giving people an opportunity to participate is what teaching is all about.

“I like watching the kids participate, smile and improve.”

Senior student Tyee Davis is one of those participants.

“I’ve been shooting since I was three years old with a little plastic bow,” he said. “Archery is just really fun in general but it also connects me to my Native ancestors.

“And it’s good practice for hunting.”

Published in ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:55

Frontenac Minor Hockey Association Update

The Association has been putting a lot of focus into Developmental Programs and this has shown at all levels of our hockey program. This success, however can be seen most prominently in our Rep Program.
It had been years since one of our Frontenac Flyers teams made it to the OMHA Finals and two years ago our Novice Rep team (Coached by Jason Quesnel) broke that drought. But it didn’t stop there, last year the Novices (Coached by Jamie Craig) set the ground and made headlines by Winning and becoming the OMHA Champions.

This year we are proud to have 4 out of 5 of our Rep Teams advance to the OMHA Semi Finals and one step closer to again winning.

Our Novices, coached by Don Rowat & Cory Thompson, had been dominating their season and series but The Campbellford Colts are showing true competition and have us on the ropes winning the last two games. But our young Flyers are resilient and will prove that when they bring the game home Tuesday March 6th at 7:00pm.

Our Atoms, coached by Jamie Craig, put on a good show last weekend when they took to the road on an overnight trip to Haliburton to kick off their OMHA Semi Finals against The Highland Storm. They took the win Friday night with a quick back and forth game which ended in our favour at 7-4. Saturdays game was just as good but ended in overtime with Highland Storm taking the win. The series now continues with the Atom Flyers having the home ice advantage this Friday March 9th at 7:00pm and again on Saturday March 10th at 2:00pm.

The Peewees, coached by Al Pixley, hope to bring a close to their Semi-Final series against The Shelburne Wolves and clinch a spot in the OMHA Finals. They currently lead the series with two wins and one more win npaves the way for a chance at the OMHA Championship. Although for the next two games we cant pack the stands again to cheer the Peewees on as they are in Shelburne, don't think that we aren't all rooting for them and wish them all good luck.The Bantams, coached by Jon Senior, are making history as it has been a long time in Flyers history since a Bantam Team has made it this close to winning the infamous Red Hats that come along with winning the OMHA Championship. The Bantams swept their Semi Final Series against the Highland Storm and are now waiting to see who they will face off against in the Finals.

We are so proud of all of our team’s accomplishments and the true FLYERS SPIRIT that has been exhibited. We encourage everyone to come to the games and see how our Rep Program has flourished and continue to leave our reputation from Novice all the way to Midget.

All in all the Frontenac Minor Hockey Association and its programs have continued to grow and show success. With our Inter Community House League (ICHL) winding down this last weekend our success not only showed on the score boards but also on the progression and advancement in skills for all of our players. Our association supports over 350 players and many awesome volunteers, coaches and bench staff which lead our programs to be as positive as they are. Our ICHL offers recreational hockey for two if not three teams per division starting from as young as 5 years (Tyke/IP) to 18 (Midget). We also offer Learn to Skate which is available for youth ages 3 and up and the First Shift Program (6-10yrs old).

We know it is tough to see our ICHL season so quickly come to an end and our Rep teams closing the gap to the end of their season so what better time to think about what to do next. Frontenac Ball Hockey Association is pleased to announce that registration is now open. Frontenac Ball hockey is open to everyone and offers full inner squad ball hockey for youths age 3-18 and is excited to again offer a co-ed Adult Ball Hockey (18 and over). Be sure to check out our website www.frontenachockey.ca or find us on facebook for registration and information on all of our programs.

The Association has been putting a lot of focus into Developmental Programs and this has shown at all levels of our hockey program. This success, however can be seen most prominently in our Rep Program.

It had been years since one of our Frontenac Flyers teams made it to the OMHA Finals and two years ago our Novice Rep team (Coached by Jason Quesnel) broke that drought. But it didn’t stop there, last year the Novices (Coached by Jamie Craig) set the ground and made headlines by Winning and becoming the OMHA Champions.

This year we are proud to have 4 out of 5 of our Rep Teams advance to the OMHA Semi Finals and one step closer to again winning.

Our Novices, coached by Don Rowat & Cory Thompson, had been dominating their season and series but The Campbellford Colts are showing true competition and have us on the ropes winning the last two games. But our young Flyers are resilient and will prove that when they bring the game home Tuesday March 6th at 7:00pm.

Our Atoms, coached by Jamie Craig, put on a good show last weekend when they took to the road on an overnight trip to Haliburton to kick off their OMHA Semi Finals against The Highland Storm. They took the win Friday night with a quick back and forth game which ended in our favour at 7-4. Saturdays game was just as good but ended in overtime with Highland Storm taking the win. The series now continues with the Atom Flyers having the home ice advantage this Friday March 9th at 7:00pm and again on Saturday March 10th at 2:00pm.

The Peewees, coached by Al Pixley, hope to bring a close to their Semi-Final series against The Shelburne Wolves and clinch a spot in the OMHA Finals. They currently lead the series with two wins and one more win npaves the way for a chance at the OMHA Championship. Although for the next two games we cant pack the stands again to cheer the Peewees on as they are in Shelburne, don't think that we aren't all rooting for them and wish them all good luck.The Bantams, coached by Jon Senior, are making history as it has been a long time in Flyers history since a Bantam Team has made it this close to winning the infamous Red Hats that come along with winning the OMHA Championship. The Bantams swept their Semi Final Series against the Highland Storm and are now waiting to see who they will face off against in the Finals.

We are so proud of all of our team’s accomplishments and the true FLYERS SPIRIT that has been exhibited. We encourage everyone to come to the games and see how our Rep Program has flourished and continue to leave our reputation from Novice all the way to Midget.

All in all the Frontenac Minor Hockey Association and its programs have continued to grow and show success. With our Inter Community House League (ICHL) winding down this last weekend our success not only showed on the score boards but also on the progression and advancement in skills for all of our players. Our association supports over 350 players and many awesome volunteers, coaches and bench staff which lead our programs to be as positive as they are. Our ICHL offers recreational hockey for two if not three teams per division starting from as young as 5 years (Tyke/IP) to 18 (Midget). We also offer Learn to Skate which is available for youth ages 3 and up and the First Shift Program (6-10yrs old).

We know it is tough to see our ICHL season so quickly come to an end and our Rep teams closing the gap to the end of their season so what better time to think about what to do next. Frontenac Ball Hockey Association is pleased to announce that registration is now open. Frontenac Ball hockey is open to everyone and offers full inner squad ball hockey for youths age 3-18 and is excited to again offer a co-ed Adult Ball Hockey (18 and over). Be sure to check out our website www.frontenachockey.ca or find us on facebook for registration and information on all of our programs.

Published in FRONTENAC COUNTY

One thing about the Sydenham High School senior girls volleyball team is that they think of themselves as a team. Just ask them, they’ll tell you.

“We all work so well together,” said left-side striker Robin Melnick. “We have a positive atmosphere here and all our parts work together.

“If somebody gets down, we’re all supportive.”

“We have a lot of individual strengths but we work together as a team,” said setter Jocelyn Farmer. “At the beginning we weren’t as much but at the end, our biggest strength is when we’re combined.”

“We always have each other’s backs,” said middle striker Tess Fraser. “Under (coach Bryan) English’s leadership. “He knows every decision to be made.”

In fact, they’re all only too happy to give the coach credit for the team’s success.

“He’s never super high or super low,” said Fraser.

“Like a rock,” said Melnick. “English always stresses ‘play like you can.’”

“Great guy,” said Farmer.

But they also see the strengths in each other.

Melnick on Fraser: “Tess is super calm. She’s really a team player and a big blocker.”

Fraser on Farmer: “She involves everyone and . . . she knows when we really have to get a point.”

Farmer on Melnick: “I don’t know where to start. She’s an amazing player, a leader, and what athleticism.

“She has an amazing vertical.”

And, they have fun with each other, such as Melnick’s little idiosyncrasies and superstitions.

“I am superstitious,” Melnick admitted. “Little things like changing my hair, tying my shoelaces.”

And her service routine, the others remind her.

“Well, I have to walk across the line left foot first,” she said, demonstrating. “Then it’s spin, bounce, deep breath and serve.

“We all have them (but) our biggest success is that everybody puts in the effort so we don’t have to rely on one person.”

Fraser, Farmer and Melnick are three of seven seniors on this squad so they know this is the time if they’re going to be successful in Streetsville.

“This is the last big hurrah for the seniors,” said Melnick.

“We’re a unit,” said Fraser.

“Just better the ball in front of you,” said Farmer.

It has all worked very well for the Golden Eagles all year. They were 10-0 in league play at the Kingston Area Secondary School Association (KASSAA) play and won the playoffs to take the League Championship 3-2 over Regiopolis. They moved on the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Association AA tournament, which they also won.

But they have been in tough this week at the Ontario Federation of Secondary Schools Association AA finals in Streetsville.

Sydenham is the 16th seed of 20 schools in the tournament. They lost their first two games in straight sets on March 5 to Lockerby SS and Nelson , before winning their first game on March 6 over Westgate and then losing to the tournament host, Streetsville in their final pool game. This relegated them to the consolation tier, but they rallied after losing the first set bya score of 25-20 in a best of five contest with 9th seeded Mclaughlin, taking the next three sets, 25-21, 25-21, and 25-9. The Golden Eagles went on to play the consolation semi-final against 10th seeded St. David on Wednesday morning, which they lost in straight sets. St, David then went on to win the Consolation final. St.Mary, the 2nd seed, won the gold medal final.

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:33

Upcoming Harrowsmith softball season in jeopardy

The upcoming softball season in Harrowsmith could be cancelled if help isn’t found to oversee the teams.

“We hope to continue playing softball in Harrowsmith, but we have encountered a few challenges that are making it difficult to continue,” says Pam Morey, President of the Harrowsmith Social & Athletic Club which is affiliated with softball in the area.

“This year, we have run into a few issues,” explains Morey about the need for help. “And after talking with the area convener, we have learned that these issues are not isolated to Harrowsmith, but are prevalent everywhere.”

According to Morey, the community needs one or more people to manage the program this year after a volunteer stepped down from the role.

“It’s a commitment, but I’m hoping to divide all of the responsibilities up,” she notes.

“We have a few members who are willing to help with registration and maybe even a year-end tournament, but are not able to make the day-to-day commitment,” says the community activist about the job. “If a few parents or players could become involved with putting-out the bases and lining the field, we could possibly make this year work.”

At stake this year is four children’s teams and one Junior Men’s team.

“It is the children’s teams that we are the most concerned about,” says Morey. “The men’s league pretty much takes of itself.”

In Frontenac County, Harrwosmith is known for its competitive baseball teams. This year, the teams are full of players and are almost full of coaches. All that is needed is someone to run the program, a roughly 40-minute commitment four nights a week at the ballfield in Harrowmsith.

“If anyone whose children play ball could help with the bases and lining the field, we would very much appreciate it,” explains Morey. “It would be great to have more than one-person to do this work because many hands make light work.”

Speaking from her home in Harrowsmith, Morey notes, “Time is marching-on. We are going ahead with registration on March 7 in hopes that someone will come forward. If everyone did a little bit, it would help. Otherwise, we’d would hate to see softball not exist in Harrowsmith. Let’s keep ball alive in Harrowsmith for our children.”

For more information about this volunteer opportunity in Harrowsmith, please contact Pam Morey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or attend the upcoming softball registration night on Saturday, March 7 from 6 to 8 pm or Saturday, March 10 from noon to 2:30 pm at the Harrowsmith Social & Athletic Club on Colebrook Road

Published in SOUTH FRONTENAC
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