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5 Boating Safety Tips to Remember

  • July 27, 2016
  • by WILL DAVIDSON LLP

young girl in fast boat with lifejacket

Let’s face it; the summer of 2016 will most likely be on record as one of the hottest summers in Ontario. As a result of this heat many have taken to boating, water sports or just being close to the water to stay cool. In early May, reports suggested boating accidents were at an all-time high. In May 2016 Ontario Provincial Police issued a warning urging people to be cautious on the water because of an increase in boating deaths in 2016.  As we head into the August long weekend Will Davidson LLP wants to remind all boat goers on a few safety rules to ensure your long weekend is fun, memorable and most importantly safe.

Remember these 5 boating safety tips when heading out on the water:

1)    Inspect your boat

Before you head out on the water take a few minutes to inspect your boat to reduce risks when you are out on the water. Explain to everyone joining you the safety rules for the boat, confirm every one knows where the safety equipment is located and how to use it. Confirm one person besides yourself knows how to operate the boat in the event anything happens to you when out on the water.

2)    Fuel Up

Ensure you have enough fuel for your trip. Transport Canada reported the majority of calls from boaters are a result of motor problems and running out of fuel.

3)    Know the forecast and stay alert for weather changes

Water conditions and the weather go hand in hand. Check the forecast before you head out for your area and make sure you understand the meaning of the forecast. Summer time heat can be the cause of heat thunderstorms which can come without warning. Always check the sky frequently when out on the water. If it appears to be cloudy and dark and the weather conditions have begun to change quickly, head for the shore. Also, it’s good practice to check your marine radio for frequent weather updates.

4)    Never operate your boat under the influence

The person operating the boat should not consume any alcohol. The consumption of alcohol diminishes judgement and the ability to process information. Your reaction time may be slowed as well as your reflexive response time may be slowed. Always have non-alcoholic beverage on board for any one operating the boat and for passengers.

5)    Always wear and provide life jackets

Every year Red Cross Canada reports on hundreds of Canadians who die as a result of drowning. 87% of cases have been found without proper installation of a life jacket or the absence of a life jacket.  A Canadian approved life jacket when worn correctly is designed to turn an unconscious person from face down in the water to face up allowing them to breathe. The standard Canadian approved life jacket is available in two sizes 1 for people over 90(lbs) and for people who weigh under 90(lbs). When purchasing a life jacket consider the activity. There are currently different life jackets to accommodate different water activities. So for boating have boating life jackets on hand for all passengers including kids.

When heading out in your boat this upcoming weekend remember these safety rules. Also be mindful of other boaters and water goers enjoying a variety of water sports. The personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have been representing individuals for over 90 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident contact our office today. With over 10 locations in Ontario our lawyers are equipped to assist you with your needs. Call us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.

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