What Are The Most Common Cottage Accidents?

We’re blessed to live in a metropolis that boasts the ability to go from city to cottage country in less than a two-hour span. With the weather (finally) starting to turn in every cottagers favour, it’s only a matter of time under the waterways and the highways are packed with eager folks, chomping at the bit to disconnect in Canada’s north.

The problem is that a good chunk of the folks that head to cottage country aren’t seasoned veterans of the backwoods – they are renters that are looking to get off the grid for a week. And the main issue being that they aren’t exactly fluent in the unstable weather and terrain that the northern land offers.

Here are three of the more common areas to be cognizant of this summer.

Canoes Capsizing

While canoeing is a very peaceful activity, many recent investigations in accidents reveal that many weren’t wearing lifejackets. Officials have also stressed that despite the warmer weather in the spring season, lake temperatures are still extremely cold. If you’re going out on the lake, here are a few safety areas to follow. 

  • Tell people where you’re going, and how long you’ll be,
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Bring a bailer, whistler and extra paddle,
  • Have an understanding of the water ways and currents
  • If possible, go out with someone else
  • Bring a cell phone

Boating Accidents

Roughly one third of all water-related deaths occurred while boating, whether it is by capsizing, collision or falling overboard. Not to mention an increased risk of accidents if the operators are inexperienced or have consumed alcohol - with 40% of drowning fatalities from recreational boating in Canada being alcohol related.

As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. Don’t test your luck on the water hoping that you can sneak a quick one past local OPP. 

Boat passengers may legally consume alcohol on board a boat in Canada, so long as the boat is equipped with:

  • Permanent cooking facilities
  • Permanent sleeping facilities
  • A permanent toilet
  • The boat must be anchored or secured alongside a dock

Boating accidents are governed by marine law, which means you need a lawyer that understands the complexities of this law should any accidents occur.  

Slip and Falls Accidents on Uneven Terrain

Cottage and vacation properties open a world of possibilities for renters venturing north for long weekend festivities – but unfortunately it also opens up a potential dangerous area for slip and fall accidents. While some private property and roads might have clearly marked “Use At Your Own Risk” signs to cover their bases – but it doesn’t make anyone immune to repercussions of an injury. So, does that mean the cottage owners were negligent? Not necessarily. When renting a cottage, there’s only so much that an owner can do ahead of time to prepare for the wrath of Mother Nature. Do a quick perimeter check around the cottage and document any unsafe areas in case something goes to litigation – but also to protect those enjoying the space for the weekend.

The lawyers at Harris Law have years of experience with boating accident cases and will work to get you the maximum benefits and compensation. Contact us today.