Boatie runs over child
A nine-year-old who was water-skiing with her family was killed when a recreational boat ran over her.
The boat’s skipper was using a popular lake in the height of summer. He was travelling at about 27 knots when he ran over the child, who was waiting to be collected by her parents in their ski-boat after falling from her water-skis.
The nine-year-old water-skiier died after extensive injuries
to her upper legs caused by the boat’s hull and propeller.
She was taken to shore immediately
after the accident, but died soon after
of extensive injuries to her upper legs
caused by the boat’s hull and propeller.
The skipper was convicted of
operating a boat in a manner that
caused unnecessary danger to another
person. He was ordered to pay a $3,000
fine and reparation of $20,000.
“Travelling more slowly provides greater time to check for dangers or take action, and reduces injury or damage if an accident occurs.”
The skipper of this boat was travelling at 27 knots and
not keeping a proper lookout.
- This boatie was very experienced.
He was operating alone in the height of
summer on a popular lake. Water-skiers
frequently follow a pattern of being
upright on skis for a time, before falling
into the water. The boatie had seen the
child water-skiing, but had not kept
a watch on her progress as he sped
through the area.
If he had kept an effective lookout he
would have seen the child fall, and could
have assumed that she must have been
in the vicinity, floating in the water.
The child, wearing a bright yellow
lifejacket, was waiting with her skis
pointed upward, and would have been
easy to spot for anyone who was
keeping an eye on her whereabouts
- In court, the boatie said the collision
had all happened so fast. Even though
he was operating more than 200 metres
from shore, it would have been prudent
for him to reduce his speed significantly,
until he was fully aware of where other
lake users were.
- Everyone on the water is required to
travel at a safe speed at all times. This
includes taking into account the amount
of traffic, the visibility and glare from the
water, and any other factors that could
Travelling more slowly provides greater
time to check for dangers or take action,
and reduces injury or damage if an
accident occurs. With limited exceptions,
the law is that all boats must not exceed
5 knots within 200 metres of the shore or
within 50 metres of another boat.
Previous article | Next article