Landing float plane hits canoe, sends couple jumping to safety

float plane landing Photo by Dee Browning/Shutterstock

Transport Canada is investigating a collision between a float plane and a canoe on Six Mile Lake in Georgian Bay, Ont.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 15 a small float plane landing on Six Mile Lake’s Trans Canada Bay struck a canoe, damaging the boat’s yoke and snapping a paddle. The couple who were in the canoe managed to jump to safety in the water.

Broken Canoe
Photo Courtesy of the OPP

The pilot of the plane and witnesses of the incident assisted the couple out of the water. The Southern Georgian Bay Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) marine unit arrived on the scene to investigate. No injuries were sustained and, presently, no charges have been laid.

According to Canada’s Collision Regulations—the laws that govern the use of marine crafts—all vessels are required to keep out of the way of other vessels that are restricted in their ability to maneuver. This means that when a float plane is landing or taking off, vessels, such as a canoe, must steer clear of its path, a media representative for Transport Canada said in an email. But the Collision Regulations only apply when the floatplane is on the water, not in the air.

It is also the pilot’s duty to determine whether it’s safe to land. This includes having enough distance to land and checking whether any vessels are blocking the landing area.

OPP provincial Const. Dave Hobson said that the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will determine whether the pilot was at fault, and, if so, deserves to lose their licence.

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