Boating Safety

Posted July 23, 2019
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It’s great to be able to say summer has finally arrived!

Did you know that over 40% of adult Canadians participate in recreational boating each year? While you are outside enjoying our beautiful weather; you also want to be safe on our waterways.

Despite best efforts boating and watercraft accidents happen. In July of this year, two people riding personal watercrafts collided in Lake Ontario just off of the Toronto Humber Bay.

How to prepare for a day of boating?

Being prepared for your boating trip will allow you to enjoy your time on the water with an increased sense of security and wellbeing.

Here are some tips to stay safe while boating:

  • Wear a life jacket, life jackets save lives;
  • Don’t boat while impaired;
  • If you are pulling a water skier or a tuber, make sure the tow rope is clear of the propeller and there are no other boaters in your immediate area;
  • Ensure you have a spotter in the boat and go over the basic hand signals;
  • Children under 16 are not allowed to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski or Sea-Doo;
  • A boaters license is required to operate most motorized watercraft;
  • Boating after dark can be very dangerous, if possible have your fun while the sun is up;
  • Have a marine first aid kit on board;
  • Storms can come up quickly, watch the weather to better understand the conditions; and,
  • Before going out, let somebody on land know where you are going and how long you will be out.

The Government of Canada has an Office of Boating Safety that encourages safe boating practices and compliance with regulations. It is a great resource for new boaters and a refresher for the seasoned boater.

Boat and watercraft insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, however, it is highly recommended. Not only are you protecting your boat in the event of an accident, but you are also protecting yourself against liability claims should someone be injured while on your boat or by your boat while in the water.

We are very lucky in Canada to have so many opportunities to enjoy the water. Being safe will ensure you are able to continue the enjoyment for years to come.

Stacey Stevens is a partner and a personal injury lawyer at Thomson Rogers. Her practice is entirely devoted to helping people who have sustained serious personal injuries from car, motorcycle, boating accidents and slip and falls. Stacey’s expertise has been sought out in interviews on Canada AM, the Business News Network and CFRB Radio, and in newspapers and magazines including the Lawyer’s Weekly, Law Times, The Litigator and The Globe and Mail.