PLEASURE BOAT ACCIDENTS ON THE INCREASE
A few years ago a boating accident occurred on a remote northern Ontario lake, two boats collided head-on while both were attempting evasive action.
Walters Consulting Corporation was retained to conduct an independent engineering assessment, in particular, to determine the relevant positions of the vessels prior to impact.
A review of damage appraisal reports, photographs, police reports and statements from the parties involved was essential in determining what happened. An impact analysis and scenario evaluation was necessary in order to draw conclusions.
The expert's opinion after reviewing the information supplied was that both vessels were travelling on a head-on course.
The damaged areas on both boats is a clear indication that the captains attempted to steer clear on one another by turning right and left.
There were three persons in each boat with one person sustaining minor cuts and bruises, and another receiving a very serious back injury to his lumbar spine and shoulder.
According to the passengers there was good-natured kidding taking place prior to departure.
Both boats left the docks with one trailing the other. The boat A turned around in such a way that the two boats were travelling towards each other.
Boat B was operating full-throttle until it was close to boat A, at which time the captain pulled down the throttle. Boat A then turned left and B to the right. A collision resulted.
After impact both boats proceeded to shore under their own power. (Point of impact Illustration "A") The scenarios presented by all witnesses correspond to the impact damage sustained by the two boats.
Orientation of the two boats was determined by the direction of the principal forces exerted on each vehicle with consideration for the amount of over lap at impact.
By aligning the principal forces, we established the relative direction of the boats immediately before impact.
It was our opinion that boat A had considerable forward motion at impact. This was consistent with the fact that the captain was thrown forward from his seat and steering position and came to rest on the floor of the boat between the first and second seat.
Damages to both boats was estimated at $7,000.00, the police did not lay charges against either captain.
The Walters expert's report was a decisive and deciding factor in determining who or what was the cause of the accident.
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Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington
Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2