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The 6 most common causes of boat accidents in Halifax

Victor Lewin - Friday, August 25, 2017

Just like operating a car, truck or motorcycle, learning how to operate a boat safely takes time, dedication and practice. Never operate a boat unless you understand navigation rules and emergency boating procedures or you’ll put yourself and your passengers at risk. Stay safe this summer by learning how to avoid some of the most common types of boat accidents below.

  1. Bad weather
    Maritime weather can be unpredictable and can change very quickly. Many a boat accident in Halifax could be prevented simply by checking the marine weather forecast before heading out. Never ignore a weather warning.
  2. Speed
    Just like automobile accidents, speed is a factor in many boating accidents. Operating any type of vehicle at an excessively high speed means you’ll have less time to react and slow down for upcoming dangers.
  3. Capsizing
    Capsizing occurs when the boat is overturned in the water. A number of factors can contribute to capsizing such as bad weather, improper anchoring and overloading. Follow safety protocols carefully to prevent capsizing and instruct all passengers to stay with the boat if it does turn over to avoid serious injury or drowning.
  4. Improper loading
    Improper loading can greatly reduce the stability of the entire vessel. Weight needs to be evenly distributed across the boat and the load needs to be within the weight restrictions of your particular vessel, especially if you have a small boat.
  5. Falling overboard
    Sharp turns, bad weather, bad judgement and the influence of alcohol or drugs can all cause a passenger to fall overboard. Give passengers advanced warning whenever the boat will be turning and instruct them not to sit on the sideboards where the chances of a fall are the greatest.
  6. Improper lookout
    Forward watch is an important part of safe boat operation. There should always be someone on the boat to watch for hazards the boating operator might not be able to see. Operators have to pay attention to the weather, the water and all of their passengers so having another set of eyes on the water can help the operator avoid disaster.
  7. Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs and alcohol
    Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal in Nova Scotia. There is no difference between operating a motor vehicle while impaired, or operating a boat while impaired.

Practice safe and responsible boating whenever you head out on the water. The risk of an accident increases with boater inattention and inexperience and it is always a good idea to wear a life jacket. Whenever you go boating, always leave your float plan with someone on shore so they know where you’re heading, when you’re leaving, who’s aboard and when you’ll be back. And if you or one of your loved ones has been involved in a boat accident, contact Wagners without delay.

At Wagners we’ll pursue your case to the fullest extent of the law. With more than 80 years combined experience, Wagners is your serious injury law firm in Halifax and throughout the Maritimes. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free initial consultation. Wagners, let us be your voice.

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