After a long winter Ontario’s boating months are finally here. Boating is a wonderful way to see the beauty that Canada has to offer; did you know that Canada has more lake area than any other country in the world? With all that water, it makes sense that over 12.4 million Canadian adults participated in recreational boating in 2015. Given the current pandemic, it is likely that more people are investing in boats as a hobby and making waves on the water.
If you are enjoying Canada’s beautiful water and weather by boat, it is important that you do so safely. Here are some easy ways to make sure you are safe while on the water.
- Wear a life jacket!
According to the Canadian Red Cross, wearing a life jacket could prevent up to 90% of boating-related drownings.
- Don’t boat while impaired!
This is the law. Just like driving a vehicle, being impaired by alcohol and/or drugs can severely impact your ability to stay alert, react, and your motor coordination. In fact – passengers on a boat may only legally consume alcohol if the boat has permanent cooking facilities, permanent sleeping facilities, and a permanent toilet and if that boat is docked or anchored.
- Get your boating license.
This is required!
- Keep flares on board in case you get stranded.
Similarly, keep paddles on board as well.
- Brush up on the nautical rules of the ‘road.’
Learn how to avoid a potential collision.
- Try not to boat after dark.
If you do choose to boat at night, make sure you have navigation lighting and visibility lighting on the boat.
- Don’t tow a water skier or tuber after dark.
This is against the law.
- If you are towing a water skier or tuber during daytime:
Ensure that there are no boaters in the immediate area and that the tow rope is clear from the propeller. By law, a boat that is towing a water skier or tube must have a designated passenger to watch the individual(s) being towed. This cannot be the driver.
- Follow posted speed limits.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
It can be unsafe to boat during a storm.
Boating insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, however we recommend that all boaters get insurance. Not only are you protecting your boat if it is damaged, but you are also protecting yourself against liability claims if someone is injured on your boat or by your boat. People who are injured in boating accidents can bring a lawsuit for damages arising from their injuries, so a little peace of mind can go a long way.
Ontario is due to have a scorching hot summer in 2021, so boating will be the perfect way to beat the heat.
By following the above tips and getting insurance, your worries will float away.
Enjoy – and boat safe!
Thomson Rogers offers free consultations so please feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are here to help.
Ava N. Williams is a personal injury lawyer and associate at Thomson Rogers. Her practice is devoted to representing Plaintiffs in personal injury litigation and she is committed to advocacy both in and out of the courtroom. Ava can be reached at 416-868-3130 or by EMAIL.
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