"In Gaspésie, the sea always wins."
A viral Facebook post is calling out reckless tourist behaviour in the waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off the coast of Quebec's Gaspésie region.
The post by Camp de base Gaspésie resort owner Jean-François Tapp has amassed over 2,000 reactions and 6,000 shares since its publication on July 13.
"OK...WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WATER SAFETY..." Tapp wrote at the beginning of the post.
He said an incident involving an intervention by emergency services after "two girls and an adult [...] ventured out on the sea in a boat that was totally inappropriate to navigate on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence" spurred his appeal to Quebecers on Facebook.
"We need to talk because we see this every day in the Gaspé, despite the Lifesaving Society's promotional campaigns and the number of people who die on (or under) the water every summer reported by the media."
"We need to talk about it because we'll see you putting your stuff in the water when we, the pros, cancel our guided trips because of winds, currents or changing weather that we've assessed from top to bottom," he continued, noting tourists' use of flimsy recreational flotation devices like stand-up paddleboards, "magic pool mats" and animal-shaped inflatable tubes.
Tapp suggested the call for vigilance was especially urgent given the arrival of the two-week construction holiday, the province's busiest period of the summer, when Gaspésie will likely see an influx of unprepared travellers.
"The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is not Lake Massawippi," he wrote. "In Gaspésie, the sea always wins."
"We need to talk because playing at sea without planning and without equipment is not a game."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.