On Friday, a 15y/o was taken to hospital after an incident where two personal watercraft collided. According to a report by CTV, at the time of the incident, the watercraft were participating in a Guided tour led by Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals owner Ossama Nasrallah.
it is still unclear what exactly happened. the Boy was taken to a waiting ambulance at Kings Wharf by Nasrallah. it is reported that the boy walked to the ambulance with assistance, but has been hospitalized with life threatening Injuries.
Staff Sgt. Fox with Halifax Police confirmed to me that the collision involved 2 personal watercraft, and that the “injured 15 year old male was operating a personal watercraft, and was the only rider on that watercraft.”
Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals operates from the Halifax Waterfront behind summit place.
Since the early 2000’s, all operators of pleasure craft are required to show competency. and meet age and Horsepower restrictions. this change came about in part, to a number of fatalities in boating accidents, ironically, involving personal watercraft and teenagers. This is why the horsepower restrictions apply to those under 16.
Note the Restriction on Personal Watercraft
Proof of Competency normally takes the form of a Pleasure Craft operator Card or PCOC. To get a PCOC, you take a course, or self study, and write an exam. In the case of rental operators, a checklist serves as an equivalent, and requires the renter to cover important safety topics.
Transport Canada says the following about the the Checklists:
A rental boat safety checklist is a ready-to-use safety briefing. Rental agencies use the checklist to review safety information with clients before they head out onto the water. Clients check the boxes on the list to confirm they have understood each item.Transport Canada
Checklists include information on boat operation, boating safety rules, local hazards, and what to do in an emergency. Safety checklists are available for many different kinds of boats and personal watercraft.
Anyone operating a power-driven boat in Canada must carry proof of competency while on board. Your completed rental boat safety checklist is considered proof of competency.
You can find the various checklists on the TC Website. Here is the Checklist for a Personal Watercraft.
among the items is
Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals webpage seems to comply with this, as it states that the Seadoo driver must have a valid drivers license.
so yah, clearly Transport Canada rules and, the companies own procedures are not being followed. Since the owner was involved in this incident, it suggests the company from has a lax safety culture from the top, since if the checklist was completed, it would require acknowledging in two places that the operator was at least 16.
Id like the note that in no way does the article say that the 15 year old was operating the machine and most are just assuming a 15 year old was driving. I’d also like to point out the fact that in the event that the 15 year old was operating the machine, they could have been on as a passenger with a 16 year old friend or older guardian and swapped seats after leaving the dock, i’ve found that this is a huge issue among all rental operations in Canada as it is virtually impossible for rental operators to enforce and witness who is in fact operating the machine on the water. The same can be said about Golf carts, you must be 16 years of age to operate them at most courses, but most parents let their kids drive them at much younger ages than that.
your right. that’s why i contacted Halifax Police who confirmed that the 15 year old was operating the sea-doo and was the sole rider of the Vessel.
From the Post:
As well, the owner of the rental company was leading the tour, so he was well aware, or should have been.
Apologies, I sent the reply before I read your whole article. I went and spoke to them today, I was on my personal PWC. it appears that the parents of the 15 year old had lied about the age of the operator claiming and agreeing that he was over the age of 15. It’s kinda both parties fault, the rental operators rented it to someone who “forgot their id” and the parents lied about the age of their kid on the paperwork. This seems to be an issue at every rental operation from what I’ve discovered, unfortunately there’s not really any way to stop this without enforcement or, “accidents” happening. I didint see a single police, coast guard, or fire serves vessel out today, usually they have a couple out on Canada day. In fact I saw the police boat sitting on its cradle by pier 22 with all the Police markings sanded off.