Preventing Boating Accidents this Season

With the summer beginning, many people in Ontario can’t wait to get out on the water to enjoy fishing, water skiing and explore the outdoors. Unfortunately, careless or dangerous behaviour while boating can result in serious personal injury. Taking a few simple precautions can help keep you and your passengers safe this season.

  • Get certified. Anyone operating a motorized boat in Canadian waters must have a license, so get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card before you set off.
  • Know your boat before you set out. Do you know what to do if there are mechanical problems? Are you prepared if there is an emergency? Make sure you have all necessary safety equipment on board, and talk to your passengers about how to use it.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Boating under the influence is a criminal offence, and penalized exactly the same way as if you were behind the wheel of a car. Unless a boat has a permanent kitchen, toilet and sleeping cabin, and is anchored or secured at a dock, alcohol cannot be consumed by anyone on board.
  • Avoid bad weather conditions. Check the weather before you head out, and don’t travel in heavy winds or rainy conditions. Pay attention to the weather while you are out, and watch carefully for sudden changes.
  • Most importantly, ensure you and every passenger wears a life jacket that fits snugly.

A complete guide to boating and marine safety is published by Transport Canada.

Legal advice for personal injuries arising from boating accidents

If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be able to bring a civil action against the boat operator, its owner, and anyone else that may have caused the accident. If alcohol was a factor, there may be grounds for liability on the part of any bar or establishment that served the relevant parties.

At Derfel Injury Law, our lawyers have experience handling claims for personal injuries after boating accidents, and can provide guidance about your legal rights and the possibility of pursuing compensation through a legal claim. Contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment. We are able to meet new clients at locations in Toronto.