15 Jun Boating Accidents

During the warm summer months, British Columbians get out on the water and enjoy boating.  Most boaters practice safe boating but those who don’t can cause potentially deadly accidents.  Hundreds of peoples die every year in boating accidents across Canada, and hundreds more are hospitalized with serious injuries.  If you are injured in a boating accident, Acheson Whitley Sweeney Foley can help.

Similar to motor vehicle regulations, the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations includes speed limits, right of way, traffic/signal lights and signs.  The law requires that an operator of a power driven boat have proof of competency and proof of age on board at all times.  Those who do not may be subject to strict penalties.

Many factors contribute to boating accidents.  Drinking while operating a boat is one of the main causes.  Remember that boating while impaired, like driving a motor vehicle while impaired, is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.  Unsafe operation of a boat or a defect in the boat can also cause accidents.  In Cuppen v. Queen Charlotte Lodge Ltd., 2005 BCSC 880, the Plaintiff was a guest at the Queen Charlotte Lodge.  He and his companion went boating on a boat provided by the lodge, when it suddenly veered to the left and went into a hard spin.  The Plaintiff was thrown against a railing and suffered a broken femur.  The Judge found that the lodge was negligent and awarded the Plaintiff $100,000.00 in damages for his pain and suffering.  The Queen Charlotte Lodge’s appeal of this judgement was dismissed in 2006.

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