Boat Safety Tips for Ontario Summer

August 4, 2023

By: Admin

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Safety in The Statistics

It's important to note that the number of boating fatalities are on the rise. The Lifesaving Society's Canadian Drowning Report highlighted that in 2020, Ontario reported 55 boating-related fatalities, an increase from the previous year. Alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in 37% of boating fatalities[1]. Furthermore, an alarming 81% of boating incident victims were not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device at the time of the incident[2]. These statistics underscore the importance of responsible and sober boating, and the need to wear appropriate safety equipment at all times.


Responsible Boat Operation

The pleasure of boating also comes with the responsibility of safe operation. It's crucial to remember that impaired driving laws apply to boating as well, thus drinking alcohol and operating a boat do not mix. Plan ahead and assign a designated boat operator for each outing. This individual must hold a proper Boating License obtained through Transport Canada. If you are a boat owner, be aware that you could be held liable for the actions of the boat operator, provided the operator had your consent to operate the boat. Responsible boat operation is key to preventing accidents and maintaining a safe environment for everyone on the water.


Safety Equipment and Maintenance

Ensure your boat is equipped with all necessary safety gear before heading out to open waters. This includes life jackets for everyone on board, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, flares, and a sound signaling device, among others. Regular maintenance of your boat is equally essential. A well-maintained boat is less likely to malfunction, helping to prevent unexpected incidents on the water.


Understanding Water Traffic Rules

Just like on the road, there are rules and signs on the water too. Make sure you're familiar with all the waterway signs, markers, and buoys. Learning and following the "rules of the road" for water traffic can significantly reduce the risk of collisions and other dangerous accidents.


Weather Awareness

Always check the local weather forecast before setting out on a boating trip. Changing weather conditions can quickly turn a day of fun on the water into a dangerous situation. If you notice storm clouds, drastic temperature drops or sudden wind speed increases, it’s best to play safe and get off the water.


Legal Support for Boating Incidents

At Beckett, we understand the importance of safety and the potentially significant consequences of boating incidents. If you have any concerns or legal questions regarding boat safety incidents, our experienced attorneys are here to provide guidance and support. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate personal injury legal issues that may arise. Our experienced lawyers can help provide legal expertise every step of the way.


References:


Lifesaving Society: 2020 Canadian Drowning Report

Canadian Safe Boating Council: Safe Boating Awareness Week 2021

Published on August 4, 2023

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