Franklin Beach – During a challenging salvage operation, which saw a section of Lake Dr. East closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for almost five-hours on Canada Day, two large motor yachts were lifted out of the water by a heavy crane and hauled away.

Thus ended a sequence of calamitous events that began at approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday morning when winds gusted up to 50 kms an hour, and waves began to batter a flotilla of seven boats moored off Franklin Beach for the night.

First, a mooring line tethering the boats together failed. Then their anchors wouldn’t hold.
One boat was able to start its engines and escape. But four boats ran aground on the beach, in front of the Salvation Army property. They were later towed out by York Regional Police.

YRP tows boats off sand banks at Franklin Beach

However, things got grim for two other boats, who were stuck together by a tie line. While one of the boats managed to start its motor, the other could not — dragging both boats onto the rocks between Franklin Beach and De Le Salle Park at about 4 a.m.

Luckily, none of the boaters were injured. But the steep shoreline prevented them from getting safely off their boats. The Georgina Fire Department arrived on scene just after 5 a.m., using their aerial ladder to rescue boaters off the flybridge of one of the boats, according to Georgina Fire Chief Ron Jenkins.

Both boats sustained damage, with one having to be pumped out by the fire department before it could be lifted off the rocks by the crane.

Two boats grounded on rocks near De La Salle Park

“It made for an exciting weekend here for everyone concerned, “ said Angie Grenke, 74, a cottager on Lake Dr. East, who watched the chaotic scene unfold from her front deck.

Despite the fire department being on site for approximately 3 hours, the Town has decided not to take action against the boaters, according to Tanya Thompson, communications manager for the Town.

In the interest of promoting safe boating, the Post is providing a link to a guide on how to tie up your boat to other boats safely



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