How to stay safe on the water this summer

Cottage season is just kicking off for Canadians from coast-to-coast. The temperatures are increasing on the thermostat, the water levels are perfect and it’s time to get out on the boat for some fun on the water.

Operating a watercraft is a completely different mode of transportation than driving a car. Many people believe just because they know how to operate a car means that will transition into functioning effectively out on the open water. No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea  to review boating safety rules before setting out.

Familiarize yourself with these 5 basic boating safety tips:

  1. Watch the Weather: Always check local weather conditions before departure. If you notice darkening clouds and rough changing winds, or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
  2. Use common sense: One of the most important parts of boating safety is to know the rules and to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. People have a tendency to want to show off a bit when crowds are around.
  3. Have your safety equipment ready: Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a lifejacket-prior to departure. It always means having a bailer, paddle, whistle, cell phone and external lights in case of an emergency.
  4. Don’t mix alcohol and boating: Practice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for on land. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.
  5. Learn to Swim: If you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Consider taking a course on the emergency procedures in case of an accident.

Boating accidents are governed by marine law, which means you need a lawyer that understands the complexities of this law. If you have been injured in an accident that involves recreation watercrafts, contact us for a free consultation.