High speed bass boats and McGregor Bay waters don’t mix well

Potential disasters averted by quick response and luck

To the Expositor:

When high speed bass boats (running 90-100 km/hr) invaded our McGregor Bay neighborhood without warning on July 9, the tournament activities of the Nickel City Bass Club threatened the safety of all: the disastrously close call of two kids at a narrow channel by Harrison Rock the most salient example.

The family was in two small boats returning to their cottage. When the children and the parents turned the corner at Harrison Rock, a tournament bass boat, travelling at full speed on the other side of the rock, nearly collided with them. Both the kids’ and the bass boat had to swerve quickly and significantly in order to avoid a collision. The parents were terrified watching this and it was a very, very close call.

Time is of the essence in these competitions. I don’t know of their threat in other places, but in our community of 30,000 Islands, narrow channels and poor sight lines there is no place for speeding bass boats. Our boat traffic is small town “local traffic” consisting of work boats, small pleasure craft, canoes and kayaks. Due to its geography, people in McGregor Bay move at a pace legally suitable for, and respectful of the safety of all the people who live and work and play here.

During the tournament there were many cases where the Transport Canada speed limit of 10km/h within 30m of a shoreline were flagrantly ignored and speeds in excess of 90km/h were witnessed by several people. If the speeding through our neighborhood by their competitors cannot be policed and controlled by their organization, they should find another location with wide open spaces more suitable for their competitions. The consequences for the Nickel City Bass Club and our community could well be disastrous if they don’t. 

Mike Toombs
McGregor Bay

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Expositor reached out to Nickel City Bass Club seeking response to the concerns contained in this letter. The club had not responded by press time Monday.