How to Practice Boat Safety this Summer

Once the summer months arrive, people are quick to pack up their belongings, hop into their vehicles, and head towards the water. Cottage culture is one of the cornerstones of the classic Canadian summer. However, there are risks involved with many cottage related activities that those participating must be aware of.

According to the Red Cross, every year 525 Canadians die in unintentional water-related fatalities. In addition to this startling truth, 166 of those deaths are caused by boating-related incidents.

If you plan on going out on the water in a boat this summer, there are many ways that you can decrease your risk of injury or drowning:

Wear a Lifejacket

They aren’t called life jackets for nothing. In fact, wearing a lifejacket could potentially prevent up to 90 percent of boating related drowning incidents. However, less than 50 percent of Canadians who go boating always wear their lifejackets, despite 82 percent believing it’s a legal requirement.

Despite their cumbersome design, lifejackets are a vital safety device that you must wear on board. When water is present, slip and fall accidents are all too common, so boats are a high-risk area for this. Although they primarily work to keep boaters afloat, they can additionally delay the onset of hypothermia in cold waters. Plus, newly designed models reject the traditional bulky stereotype and fit the body’s form much better.

Be Prepared

Before heading out to sea, inspect your boat to ensure it’s ready to make the trip. Operating an unsafe boat that is not seaworthy is against the law, so be sure to keep up with any boat maintenance that needs to be addressed.

Additionally, if you are taking any inexperienced boaters out for a ride, explain the precautions they must take while on board to avoid injury, and instruct them on how to use the safety equipment. Furthermore, make sure that at least one passenger is aware of how to operate your boat, should anything happen to you.

Check the Weather 

Weather dictates so much of what people are able to do in a day. When it comes to boating, however, the weathers control over personal safety is even higher. If you’re planning on taking a boat out, check the latest forecast. During Ontario summers, thunderstorms can appear seemingly out of nowhere, so keep your eyes peeled and monitor the sky for any changing weather conditions.

Play Safely

The adrenaline that kicks in when you participate in recreational water activities can be exhilarating. There are dangers, however, if you don’t play safely. If you plan to go waterskiing, tubing, or kneeboarding, it’s crucial that you take safety precautions to limit the risk of injury. These measures should entail having a spotter on board who can oversee that those in tow are safe, leaving a seat empty in case the person in tow needs to come onboard, and not towing during hours of limited visibility.

The summer months bring endless opportunities to take advantage of Ontario’s many lakes. Boating and watersports are both invigorating activities that when done safely, can provide hours of fun.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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