Sanchuk said a 46-year-old operator from Port Colborne was charged.The event, which is always on the second Sunday in July, draws a lot of boats, swimsuit-clad revellers and alcohol-fuelled parties on the remote Pottahawk Point, off of Port Rowan or Turkey Point in Lake Erie.Some years there have been 10,000 people and more than 2,000 boats at the event where some boaters line up their vessels so that people can climb across.Many others like to stand around and socialize in the waist deep water.This year’s turnout was smaller, Sanchuk said. High water meant the usual standing area wasn’t as comfortable as normal and there was little shoreline available.Some boaters reported being unable to get their boats out of boathouses due to the high water.Police were watching for impaired boat operators, checking boats for proper safety equipment and responding to emergencies.Early Sunday, a woman was burned by a barbecue and at least one impaired boater was arrested.“We’re not here to ruin people’s fun but people seem to think nothing will happen to them because they’re out on the water,” Sanchuk said.“Out here, seconds can make the difference between life and death so we’re asking everyone to be responsible – especially if you’re carrying people in your boat.”The OPP Marine Unit received calls through the 911 system and could respond to zone areas that were marked out along the shore.Sanchuk said boaters should understand that “impaired is impaired, whether you’re on land or water”.He added that alcohol sometimes causes Pottahawk partierss to do foolish things, such as try to swim to shore – a distance of at least five kilometres.At the Port Rowan marina, Katherine Atkins of Hamilton and her husband, Stan, were preparing to launch Wine Goddess Too but planned to steer clear of Pottahawk.“We don’t like Pottahawk,” said Atkins.“We’re going somewhere quiet to float.”SGamble@postmedia.com@EXPSGamble Norfolk OPP picked up the passengers of an overloaded boat that sank during the Pottahawk boating party Sunday. Police patrolling an annual offshore party near Long Point had to contend with a capsized boat, an impaired driver and a partier burned by a barbecue.The annual Pottahawk boat party Sunday was smaller and calmer than previous years, only attracting about 500 boats, said Norfolk OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk.One boat started to sink at about noon. Officers from the OPP Marine Unit helped the operator and captain to safety but said the boat was heavily overloaded.“People wonder why the police have to be out here but that’s one of the reasons why. There were five people on that boat.”
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A former racing driver was killed in a freak fireball accident after rubbing his hands on his clothes as they were soaked in petrol and igniting the fuel with static, it is claimed.Great grandfather Fred Saunders, 84, sustained severe and fatal burns at his home while he was draining the tank of his camper van following a small petrol leak.During the work, Mr Saunders’ fleece jacket and trousers became covered in fuel.And it is understood his clothes then ignited through the static electricity caused when he tried to wipe his hands clean. His partner, Sue Read, 72, was able to put out the flames and call the emergency services who attended their home near Yeoford, Devon, at around 7.30pm on Sunday, April 16.Mr Saunders was treated at the scene before being flown to Southmead Hospital in Bristol but died at 3pm the following day.Mrs Read said her husband had enjoyed a Sunday at Hatherleigh Auto-Jumble and watching the Grand Prix racing on television before he started working on his vehicle.She said: “I had been watering the plants and was not observing.”I think I was aware of something. I have been trying to work it out and I cannot – it was just a blur.”He was working on a vehicle – his old camper van – and then whoosh! I just went numb – I turned into a transfixed rabbit in the head lights. I could not think. I just thought, ‘where is the water? Do I get water?’ Fred Saunders in his Crossle 15F at Snetterton race circuit in NorfolkCredit:SWNS.com “I called the emergency services. Everybody was so brilliant.”He was a lovely bloke. Kind, generous – and stubborn. There was a right way, wrong way and Fred’s way. He was a one off. A very, very practical man.”Lots of people are saying he was a legend.”He leaves behind three children, Dave, Leslie and Marion, six grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.Sue was full of praise for all those who had helped Fred, including the firefighters, paramedics, ambulance staff, police and the nurses at the hospital.She said: “Everyone was brilliant and they all deserve congratulations.”Mr Saunders’ daughter Marion Aubry added: “The treatment my father received was second-to-none. I cannot praise the hospital staff enough.”They ensured he was in no pain and were so caring and thoughtful.”Chris Aubry, Marion’s husband, said: “Fred was the former landlord of the Mare and Foal pub in Yeoford, but had also been a sailor, pilot, farmer and even kept Shire horses.”He was a former racing car driver competing in Formula 5000, Formula Vee and was Formula Vee Champion in 1969.”He previously told me ‘I have had a really good life and done pretty much everything’.”Fred was also a deep sea welder and appeared on the television programme “Salvage Squad”, as an expert guiding competitors.A full inquest is expected to be held at a later date. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.