Canada has more lakes than any other country in the world and more than the rest of the world combined. As Canadians, we enjoy participating in various water sports and boating activities especially during the summer months that always seem to breeze by far too fast. Unfortunately, safety measures aren’t always taken which can result in accidents.
There are about 100 deaths in Canada annually caused by boating accidents. In many cases, the deaths are avoidable. Just last week, Kevin O’Leary made headlines with TMZ being first to break the story with other media outlets to catch on quickly. The headlines were not for an appearance on Dragon’s Den or another attempt at running for Prime Minister but instead for his involvement in a fatal boating accident on Lake Joseph in Muskoka.
While there are still many unknowns in the case and no decision on criminal charges, the accident has resulted in the deaths of two people, physical injuries to others and has likely had an emotional impact on everyone on the two boats. Those close to individuals on the boats will also endure emotional trauma. There are potential criminal charges as well as civil liability.
In boating accidents, injured victims are entitled to sue the at fault operator and owner of the boat as well as anyone else that caused or contributed to the accident. Generally, the insurers of those that are sued will defend the claims made against them however there is still stress and frustration of being involved in legal action and potentially being the cause of injuries to or deaths of others that in many cases are avoidable.
My best advice is to enjoy Canada’s lakes, make the most of the summer and play by the rules. The consequence of not doing so is just not worth it.