Legend Lost - Passionate about Life Jacket Safety
A tribute to Michael Daniel “Mike” Palmer (June 20th, 1946 - February 29th, 2020)
It saddens us to announce the passing of Mike, but it brings comfort to know that his spirit of adventure will live on in each of us as the Palmer family continues to welcome guests to his home, Hartley Bay Marina. His passion for the French River and the safety of the people of Canada was evident when, in the summer of 2019, Mike launched the Life Jacket Campaign.
Since 1952, the Palmer family has welcomed families to Hartley Bay Marina on the French River. In this time, they saw a few tragedies, but nothing saddened Mike more than the sixteen boating fatalities that occurred across Ontario in 2019.
"There has been some tragedies here in the Delta in the past, and they all dealt with people boating and not wearing life jackets. And it's so simple to put them on and keep them on. They can be purchased now. They are quite comfortable, not like the old bulky ones you saw 50 years ago," Mike told CTV News.
Every year, many families head to their cottages on the French River where they make memories, connect, and simply spend quality time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, too many times, the Palmers observed families selling their cherished cottages after the drowning of a loved one.
"To see them not here anymore is sad for me, and I can only imagine what it's like for the family. The torment to see that place, and you know Grandpa is not there, dad or mom. It just tears the families apart," Mike explained.
In order to combat the senseless drownings, Hartley Bay Marina has put up a sign to encourage people to wear life jackets. Mike explained that everyone should wear life jackets when they are out on the water. There’s no point in having it on board if you fall in the water. He went on to say that only a quarter of people leave his dock in boats.
This summer, let us do our part by wearing life jackets in Mike’s memory and by encouraging everyone to do so…
See Mike being interviewed by CTV News in this featured news article: Hartley Bay Marina responds to boating fatalities .