Ontario Boating Safety Tips To Avoid Accidents and Injuries - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Ontario Boating Safety Tips To Avoid Accidents and Injuries


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.


What is proof of competency?

Proof of competency refers to verifiable evidence that a person possesses sufficient mental ability to grasp implications surrounding a legal matter. Examples of legal matters in which a person is required to provide proof of competent include: –

  • Involvement in a court case as either a plaintiff or defendant
  • Providing verbal or written consent before incredibly delicate medical procedures
  • Enacting contractual agreements with significant financial implications
  • Execution of an elaborate will featuring definite legal clauses and so forth. When a person fails to meet a required level of mental competence, a suitable guardian must then act to aid in the legal matter.

In Ontario, is there a difference between personal injury law and maritime injury law?

Unlike personal injury law, which addresses land-based acts of negligence that result in physical harm to individuals, maritime injury law deals with similar acts that occur while at sea. Consequently, Canadian maritime injury law features legal elements borrowed from international conventions, commonwealth common law, and aspects of Canadian federal and provincial law. Canadian maritime injury law is administered via the Admiralty act and encompasses personal injury that occurs due to: –

  • Collision of sea-faring vessels
  • Acts of negligence perpetrated by ship owners, charter companies, shipmasters, or the crew members on a ship. Personal injury lawsuits resulting from acts of negligence while at sea can only be filed in federal court in all Canadian provinces except British Columbia.

In Ontario, which laws govern accidents from recreational boats?

Legislation affecting accidents on recreational boats include: –

  • Occupier’s Liability Act The relevant law, the maritime liability act, asserts that the owner of a recreational boat or the person assigned to oversee its use is tasked with ensuring any passengers’ safety on the vessel.
  • Highway Traffic Act The relevant law in the Canadian highway traffic act bars people’s conveyance on a trailer-mounted recreational boat as it’s transported by road.
  • Insurance Act All recreational boats operating within Canada must have medical insurance that caters to medical expenses arising from accidents that occur on the vessel.

Leave a Reply


Get the help you deserve


Call NOW for a free consultation


Diamond & Diamond Ontario Head Office

255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, Ontario

>> Learn More

Diamond & Diamond Alberta Head Office

4246 97 Street NW, Unit 103, Edmonton, Alberta

>> Learn More

Diamond & Diamond British Columbia Head Office

1727 West Broadway, Suite 400, Vancouver, British Columbia

>> Learn More


168 Bayfield Street


1331 Macleod Trail SE, Suite 645


2713 14 St SW


600 Crowfoot Crescent NW #240


4246 97 Street NW, Unit 103


256 Pall Mall St, Suite 102

Oakville / Mississauga

2939 Portland Drive, Suite 200


50 Richmond Street E, Unit # 108 B


955 Green Valley Crescent, Unit 315


31 Larch Street, Unit 300


1104 – 13737 96 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 0C6


255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor


1678 Bloor Street, Suite 302


1727 West Broadway, Suite 400


13158 Tecumseh Rd. E. Unit 3B