• Thursday, 27 June 2019

Ontario Boating Safety Tips To Avoid Accidents and Injuries

#AskSandraZisckind

Warmer weather signals a start to the boating season in Ontario. The province offers countless lakes and rivers for recreational watercraft of all types and sizes. Even if you do not own a boat of your own, a weekend on the water can still be in your plans with boat rental companies throughout Ontario. One thing everyone venturing out for a day of boating must make a priority is staying safe and avoiding accidents. Most boating accidents and drownings could be prevented by following some simple safety rules.

Proof of competency

Safe operation of a motorized boat requires that you understand how to do so without putting yourself or other people at risk of being injured or killed. Some of the common rules to which boaters must adhere include:

  • Maintain a safe distance from swimmers and other boaters.
  • Operate at a safe speed that allows you to maintain control over your boat while not creating a wake that could affect other boaters or cause damage to the shoreline and docks.
  • Refrain from the use of alcohol while operating your boat.
  • Maintain a constant lookout for other watercraft, swimmers and submerged objects.
  • Make adjustments to the boat of your boat to accommodate weather and other conditions affecting visibility and handling of the boat.

Anyone operating a motorized boat must show proof of competency. The Canadian government issues a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) to individuals 16 years of age and older who pass a boating safety course.

Equipment to have on board a motorized boat

The equipment you have on your boat can mean the difference between life and death in the event of an emergency situation, such as a collision or a sudden change in the weather. Essential items every boater should have on board include the following:

  • Government-approved lifejacket or floatation device of the appropriate size for each person, both adults and children on the boat.
  • Heaving line rated as buoyant measuring at least 15 metres.
  • Government-approved type A, B or C flares or a waterproof flashlight.
  • Horn or other type of audible signaling device.
  • An anchor with at least 15 metres of chain, rope or cable
  • Paddle or other device for manually propelling the boat in the event of engine failure.
  • A class 5 BC fire extinguisher.
  • First aid kit.
  • Manual water pump or bailer.

Depending upon how long you plan to be out on the water, you might also consider bringing along a supply of drinking water, sunscreen, sunscreen, a knife and waterproof matches. A change of clothing is useful if you get wet and temperatures suddenly drop.

Alcohol and boating do not mix

Alcohol consumption plays a role more than 40% of boating fatalities. It impairs your judgment, affects motor skills and vision, slows reaction times, and impairs your ability to quickly and accurately process information. Besides being a criminal offense, impaired operation of a motorized boat puts you, your passengers and other people at risk of injury or death from a collision.

Ontario boating accident lawyers

If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a boating accident caused the negligence of another party, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.  The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of accident victims throughout Ontario. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

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