Boating continues to be a popular recreational activity, as people enjoy the water and outdoors in the warmer months. Unfortunately, accidents, injuries and fatalities, have increased as boaters who have little experience take to the water.

Just as you would take proper care and safety precautions while driving a vehicle on the road, the same consideration should be made for motorized water vehicles.

Some common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator negligence
  • Passenger and/or water skier actions
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Equipment failure
  • Reckless operation
  • Operation under the influence of alcohol or drugs

A sample of the types of boats include, but not limited to, Sport boats, House boats, Fishing boats, Sail boats, Jet boats, Pontoon and deck boats, and Cruisers.

If you operate any motorized vessel you must carry proof of competency such as a boating safety course taken in Canada before April 1, 1999 or a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). The Pleasure Craft Operator Card may also make you eligible for a reduction in marine insurance. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is good for life, and is recognized across Canada.

All boats are required to carry safety equipment. All equipment should be checked regularly, be well maintained, and replaced if necessary. There must be a Canadian approved life jacket or personal floating device (PFD) of the appropriate size for everyone on board.

If you are in a boating accident, be sure to record as many details as possible about the scene, witnesses, and cause of the accident.

If you or a family member has been in a boating accident, please contact a lawyer.