MUSKOKAN — The long weekend papers were full of good boating safety articles. People may read the articles, but unfortunately some do not heed the advice.
On Sunday morning (of the long weekend), while boating on Lake Muskoka, a very small aluminum boat with four occupants approached our much larger boat. We could see that, although we had the right of way, this boat was going to cross our bow. We stopped to avoid a collision.
The boat contained a mother and small son at the tiller as well as two passengers. When asked if she did not know that we had the right of way, she replied that she was teaching her seven-year-old son to drive the boat.
My husband told her that if she did not teach her son about right-of-way and safe boating he wasn’t going to make it to eight. She shrugged and drove off.
We had a similar situation happen last year where a young boy crossed our bow as he was too busy texting to watch where he was going. Again we had to stop to avoid a collision.
Unfortunately there are too many people, old and young, who are getting behind the wheel of a boat with very little practical knowledge about boating. They read a book, take a test and assume they are boaters. What about experience?
It is very good to know the rules of the water and who has the right of way, but as a boat driver for over 40 years, I always give the other guy the right of way.
After all, it is better to arrive alive than right.