Letter: Stunt Drivers & Swimmers in Big Tub Harbour


The following letter was sent to the Municipal Council.

Honorable MNBP Council,

Our cottage is located on high ground at the southern entrance to Big Tub Harbour.  The Big Tub Lighthouse is approximately 250 meters due north from our boathouse on the opposite side of the harbour.  

Since acquiring the cottage in 2010, we have seen growing numbers of tourists come to the lighthouse on foot, by bike, vehicle, canoe, kayak, dinghy, paddle board, and Jet Ski, etc.  Year after year some of these people attempt to swim from the lighthouse to the other side of Big Tub Harbour.  We have witnessed some close calls including people clinging to the ‘Slow Down’ marker buoy on the south side of the harbour because they could not complete the swim to the south side of the harbour.  

As far as I know, there is no ‘Law’ in place indicating that it is illegal to swim across the entrance to Big Tub harbour.  Under the Canada Marine Act ’98, Toronto and larger Canadian cities have banned swimming in their ports, but in small natural harbours in Canada, the norm is that the only ‘Law’ is common sense.  

In my opinion:  The currents, the large multi-directional waves, the water temperature, and the winds that may culminate at the mouth of the harbour, along with tour boat traffic, other boat traffic, Jet Skiers, and Coast Guard boats frequently and rapidly leaving the harbour, are all factors that increase the potential for serious swimmer/boater accidents or drownings.  

A bylaw and some signage on your lighthouse municipal property prohibiting swimming across the mouth of Big Tub harbour (fine is $500.00 for swimming in TO harbour) may save lives and eliminate potential future lawsuits against the municipality.   

There is one more related concern I am bringing forward.  When the Jet Skis driven by tourists began to encroach upon our waters, they transformed a tranquil and dignified waterfront into a 1950s style parade of noisy machinery and self-aggrandizing operators.  Now, the Jet Skis are moving faster with deadly speed and there is no one there to slow them down.  

We have witnessed an increase in the number of private boats and Jet Skiers not slowing down at the entrance to Big Tub harbour in recent years.  Jet Skiers have also been transiting through the designated ‘No Boats-Swimmers Only’ marker buoys located in the waters surrounding the lighthouse with ever increasing frequency. These people are often travelling at speeds on the water that are the equivalent of Stunt Driving Speeds on land.  It should not be happening.  If there is anything the municipal council can do to deter the irresponsible Jet Ski (and motor boat) operators who are flourishing in and around our two harbours, it would be appreciated.      

I respectfully request that this letter be read into the minutes of the next MNBP council meeting (26 Sep ’22), or at the next opportunity. 

Thank you for your kind attention.

John Moiseshyn,