As the schools end for the summer and the cottages begin to see life, so does the boating season bringing with it the potential for risks. Boating can be very fun but with the recent accident on Lake Rosseau with a girl getting hurt from a propeller, we need to be more aware than ever. Accidents happen but there are always ways on how to stay informed with ways to prevent these events and learn from past occurrences. Summer can still be fun while staying safe!
Here are some helpful hints while boating to keep in mind:
Right of way
When driving a car right of way seems logical, but on a lake, with music playing, your friends chatting to you, and towing a water-skier right of way may get complicated even to the most nautical drivers. Right of way is always given to small crafts such as sailboats and non-motorized crafts because they have minimal to no power to move faster or slower to move out of the way. When right of way is questioned with another motorized boat approaching it is the boat to the right (Starboard) that can go and the boat to the left (Port) must wait to proceed.
Propellers and water sports
We all like to have fun and play in the sun and water, but we must keep in mind the dangers of everyday cottage hazards with towing and propellers. Propellers on boats are mounted directly at the back usually hidden by a swim platform and can sometimes go unnoticed because they are so well hidden. We must remember if anyone is swimming near the back of the boat that its shut off, and if the boat is going to be engaged that everyone is far away from these hidden blades. Another hidden risk that sometimes comes from nowhere would be when the towing rope is brought back to a fallen water-skier, wake boarder or kneeboard, some times the boat can come around and bring the rope too close and the rope can act as sandpaper giving severe burns if it comes to close. Now this shouldn’t scare you to not do water sports but these are just a few things we look for to keep everyone safe on the water!
Water on the water, Beer on the Pier
Everyone likes to have a cold one now and then but if combined with a motorized vehicle you can lose your license or even worse your life! Being on the water includes many responsibilities including watching out for the passengers on the vessel and as research has proven, alcohol inhibits the ability to operate vehicles. Boating takes your full attention and it’s not worth it to blow it for one drink, stay safe and have fun this summer.
Summer is the time for fun, the time to meet new people, and the time for those fun new boating excursions, but we must remember to keep safety as a priority.
Check out this link for more on boating safety.