Two injured after boat capsized in Hamilton Harbour

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Published May 21, 2024 at 3:50 pm

Two people were hurt when their boat capsized in Hamilton Harbour though the police marine unit was able to fish them out.

The boat flipped around 2 p.m. on May 20. The Hamilton Police boat on patrol received a mayday call and arrived at the capsized boat minutes later. They found two people in the water and a half-sunk catamaran.

The officers assisted a nearby boat in pulling the pair out of the water. The investigation concluded the catamaran began taking on water because the vessel’s seacocks were not properly installed.

A seacock is a valve that allows some water into a boat, often to cool the engine or provide a faucet. At port, seacocks are above the waterline and can be opened. However, out on the water, waves may result in the seacock going under the waterline and create flooding if not properly sealed.

Two men received medical treatment. The first for a cut finger and the second for the early stages of hypothermia. Police said they “continue to work towards educating the public in an effort to see these incidents decrease,” and “believe that wearing a lifejacket is the most important factor in preventing deaths while boating.”

They also offered a few tips for boaters including;

  • Every person on board must have a properly fitted Canadian-approved personal flotation device or lifejacket
  • Boat operators are responsible for having the appropriate safety equipment on board according to their vessel size/type, as described by law
  • The rules of boating under the influence of alcohol and or drugs are the same as they are on the roadways. The legal limit is under 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
  • With inboard engines, run your blowers for four minutes before starting the engine, after fueling, and during periods of long idling.
  • Check the weather before leaving and monitor changing conditions
  • Make sure you and your guests know what to do in case of emergency
  • Ensure your boat is well maintained and routinely serviced by a qualified marine technician.
  • Be aware of cold water shock and hypothermia, and how to mitigate those risks
  • Inspect your safety equipment regularly
  • Never boat under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other drug
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