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May 28, 2015 in News Boating Accident

Boating Accident: Stay Safe While Boating

Boating is a water hobby that can be fun for a group of friends or the whole family, but it is important to keep in mind that boating accidents do happen. In Ontario hundreds of people are victims of boating accidents each year. Some of these accidents fortunately do not involve fatalities or even injury, but many do.

While boating accidents dropped to a ten-year low in 2014 with 20 fatalities, 17 of these deaths were attributed to not wearing a life jacket or a personal flotation device (PFD), according to the OPP.

In 2013, the OPP investigated 23 boating fatalities, in 20 of the incidents; boating victims were not wearing life jackets. Between 2009 to 2013, eight out of ten victims of boating fatalities were not wearing PFDs or were wearing them incorrectly.

Last July, a married couple died in a boat crash on Bartlett Lake after a ski boat collided with a pedal boat. After the crash, the passengers of the ski boat rescued the woman, but she succumbed to injuries en route to the hospital. Meanwhile, the body of the man was found in the lake a few days later. Both passengers of the pedal boat weren’t wearing life jackets. The driver of the ski boat was later charged with two counts each of causing death by criminal negligence, dangerous operation of a vessel causing death, careless operation and operate a pleasure craft without prescribed competency under the Canada Shipping Act, according to CBC News.

Before heading out, always make sure you have the right boating gear and safety equipment on your boat. Check the boat before heading out and make sure you dress warmly and that your life jacket will fit over your heavier clothing, even if it’s cold outside,

Have a general idea of your surroundings. Boats are not allowed in dams and hydroelectric stations, especially since dam gates can create dangerous waves for boaters. Anyone operating a marine vessel near a dam can be fined as much as $2,000.

Also, tell somewhere where you’re going and when you’re expected to be back. If you’re boating during the dark, your boat needs properly functioning navigation lights.

Boaters are required to carry proof of competency, which includes either a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, a completed rental boat safety checklist or, proof of completion of a Canadian boating safety course.

Besides these safety tips, you should never drink and operate a boat.

“We are all responsible for safety, as boaters, cottagers, guests as well as marina staff,” Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the Highway Safety Division, said in a press release. “Strongly encourage your family and friends to not mix drinking and boating before they head out and report impaired boaters to police,” added Cox.

The only time boaters are allowed to have an open alcohol is when the boats they are on have a permanent sleeping area, a kitchen and washroom facilities and only when the vessels are anchored or docked.

Boating accidents can be described in three types of scenarios as they may or may not comprise of a collision. The first scenario is when a vessel is damaged more than a minimum amount. The second scenario is an incident is when a boat passenger is seriously injured. The third scenario is when a boat passenger disappears from the boat and it is suspected that death or injury occurred. In all of these cases, the operator or owner of the boat must file an accident report with appropriate local authorities.

There are a variety of factors that can cause a boating accident, some of which are not always under the control of the boat operators or its passengers. The most paramount factor, which is also the easiest to avoid, is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In over a third of all reported boating accidents, a driver who is under the influence of alcohol is a key contributing factor to the boating accident. Intoxicated drivers have slower reflexes and often make poor decisions that can have devastating results. Boating under the influence (BUI) is a criminal offense in under the criminal code of Canada and carries with it heavy fines and or imprisonment.

In addition, a great number of boating accidents are caused by hostile weather, such as strong winds or heavy rain, particularly when the weather comes up suddenly. In severe weather, even experienced sailors may have trouble navigating, avoiding collisions, or even keeping the boat afloat. Boats are also at higher risk of lightning strikes, which can injure or kill passengers or damage the boat. In addition, exposure to cold water or rain for long periods of time can lead passengers to experience hypothermia.

If you are an inexperienced boater you are at a higher risk of being involved in boating accidents. Inexpert boaters may have more trouble controlling the boat in extreme weather situations. They may also be unprepared to act when they encounter unfamiliar conditions, like when a storm springs up unexpectedly. Inexperienced operators are also more likely to ignore or not notice warning signs like wind picking up, the water getting shallow, or other indications that they need to avoid a hazard.

The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling accident injuries for clients throughout Ontario for more than 45 years, and we know how to help you get compensation after a boating accident. Call us at 416-920-4242 to set up a consultation.

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

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Area of Expertise

Boating accident

 

The summer is a great time to enjoy the open waters of the lake on a boat. While many people enjoy a good time on the water, the dangers of impaired boating are real. When people on another boat become intoxicated and cause accidents, which can vary from damage to the boat to the serious injury or even death of a passenger, they are liable for the damage they cause. If a boating accident left you or a loved one seriously injured and it was caused by another person or a mechanical issue with the boat itself, contact a boating accident lawyer at Neinstein LLP.

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Boating accident

 

The summer is a great time to enjoy the open waters of the lake on a boat. While many people enjoy a good time on the water, the dangers of impaired boating are real. When people on another boat become intoxicated and cause accidents, which can vary from damage to the boat to the serious injury or even death of a passenger, they are liable for the damage they cause. If a boating accident left you or a loved one seriously injured and it was caused by another person or a mechanical issue with the boat itself, contact a boating accident lawyer at Neinstein LLP.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

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