For many people, boat ownership is nothing but a far-off dream unlikely to come into reality. Owning a boat is an expensive endeavour, but for those who have chosen to indulge, their nautical experiences are endless. But what about those who haven’t taken the boat ownership plunge, what do they do? The answer is simple; they ride along with other people who do have boats!
The difficulty with being the owner versus the passenger is that all liability rests on the shoulders of the owner. This means that if someone hurts themselves aboard your boat and you as the owner can be proven to be negligent, you risk the possibility of being sued. Here are some scenarios that passengers be aware of to help ensure their own safety while on someone else’s boat.
Watch for alcohol consumption
Being out on the water has a certain relaxation effect on people, and with relaxation can easily come an alcoholic drink or two. Just as with operating a car, the driver of a boat should never consume alcohol. There are many dangers on the water that the person captaining the boat needs to be constantly on the lookout for, and any alcohol consumption can impede their ability to drive and possibly cause a boating accident.
Does the boat appear to be safe?
Having a boat is a great luxury, but a boat requires regular maintenance just as any functioning vehicle does. If the boat you are about to board looks or feels unsafe you may want to ask yourself if it is worth getting onboard and risking your personal safety. It is up to the owner of the boat to ensure that their vessel is in proper working order and the onus is on them to provide a safe boating experience for all passengers.
Are there life jackets aboard?
The boat owner has a duty of care to provide every passenger with a functioning life jacket to be used in case of emergency. If you experience a boating accident and there are not life jackets available to all passengers and injuries are sustained as a result, you may be in a position to sue the owner of the boat for negligence.
Boating can provide an endless amount of fun for all who are fortunate enough to experience the open water. However, there are many dangers associated with boating and some are completely avoidable. Use caution when getting on someone else’s boat and ensure that all safety measures are taken to provide a safe and fun ride each and every time. If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Zuber Brioux to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your legal rights.