Safety First – Bow Riding Is Never Safe

Bow Riding

On the July 1st weekend a five year old boy was killed in a boating accident in Lake Powell, Utah.  The child was riding in the bow of the boat when it hit a wave, causing the boy to fall out.  He was struck by the propeller and killed instantly.  

Jeff Rhodes, President of Coastal Craft Boats, passed this news item along to us at Canadian Yachting West with the strong request that we remind everyone that it is never safe to allow passengers or pets to ride on the bow of a boat while it is underway. Bow riding is a still too common practice amoung some less knowledgeable boaters and even though it is not specifically illegal in Canada, the Police will pull you over and lecture you on the dangers of bow riding.  Even if you are driving safely and at a slow speed the wake of another boater can instantly send a passenger from the bow of the boat into the water and straight into the boat’s propeller. Wearing a life jacket will not help anyone in that situation.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, in Ontario this week a six-year-old boy was in serious condition after a boating incident involving a boat motor propeller in Parry Sound on Georgian Bay on Saturday afternoon. He is at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto and expected to make a full recovery. West Parry Sound OPP say two families from Grimsby were heading to their cottage around 4:40 Saturday afternoon with several children on the front edge of the boat with their feet in the water.  The pontoon boat accelerated and a 6-year-old boy was unable to lift his feet and was pulled under the boat.  Nearby cottagers helped the family to shore and emergency services who took the boy to the West Parry Sound Health Centre where he was later airlifted to Sick Kid’s in Toronto.  Police say alcohol was not a factor and the boy was wearing a lifejacket which may have saved his life as he is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.
**Please note that a lifejacket will not save you from propeller injury!

Don’t take chances with a mistake that can never by corrected.  Enjoy your boating safely.

Coast Guard

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