As we approach the last long weekend in Ontario it is time to turn our minds to being safe out in the water. The federal government has introduced boating safety regulations in order to help reduce the number of boating accidents and fatalities. Some of these regulations include:
- minimum age limits for operating power boats above 10 horsepower and personal water craft;
- mandatory operator competency requirements, being phased in over 10 years, for operators of powered boats used for recreational purposes; and
- new minimum safety equipment and operation standards affecting all boats.
These regulations are administered by Transport Canada. For information on registering your boat and obtaining application forms go to Service Canada: Pleasure Craft Licensing
Before heading north to explore our waters, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws, regulations and local rules wherever you are boating. Specifically, collision regulations, small vessel regulations, local rules concerning safe speeds, vessel separation/right of way, and key laws that apply to the operation of all vessels, regardless of size need to be well known by all boaters. Navigating our waters safely means comprehending Canadian buoyage system, the use of marine charts, compasses, navigation lights and signals, plotting courses, positioning methods, navigational references such as notices to mariners, sailing directions and the use of electronic navigational equipment.
Also keep in mind the importance of knowing your weather forecast and plan your trip before you set sail. In other words, make sure you know where you are going. If you are going alone, always let someone know where you are going.
And lastly, two rules that should never be forgotten. The first is always wear your life jacket and make sure that all passengers do so as well. Wearing a lifejacket can give your body time to adjust to an emergency situation such as going overboard and having your body going into shock from the cold water. Find more info on lifejackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs), Overboard recovery techniques and Surviving in cold water
The other rule is never mix alcohol with boating. Not only can this result in legal consequences but it can be a huge safety hazard. Alcohol mixed with sun, wind and the motion of the boat can dull your senses which in turn will result in poorer fine motor skills.JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P.'s Toronto Personal Injury Lawyers want to remind everyone to have an enjoyable end of summer but please take the safety precautions necessary, to make it a safe one.