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Bert
08-16-2005, 02:46 PM
This happened in the area I was vacationing. Just a reminder for those that house boat with children.

Slide suspected in tot's death
Police believe Mia Petrovic, 2, fell into the water as her parents slept

Jason Hewlett
Kamloops Daily News

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

SICAMOUS - A slide on a rented houseboat likely led to the death of a Lower Mainland toddler in the waters of the Sicamous Channel between Mara Lake and Shuswap Lake, investigators said Tuesday.

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Jim Harrison said he believes two-year-old Mia Petrovic of Belcarra left her parents' room on the moored houseboat sometime after 6 a.m. Monday, opened the screen door and walked outside. It is believed she then climbed onto the slide and plunged into the fast-moving water of the channel.

"The slide was right there outside of the bedroom. It certainly looks like that's what happened. There is no other explanation," Harrison said.

The child was carried about 90 metres through the channel until she was found by two men out for a fishing trip. She was not breathing when they found her.

They called Sicamous RCMP and the child was taken to Shuswap Lake General Hospital, in Salmon Arm, where doctors spent several hours trying unsuccessfully to revive her.

"The two people that found her tried everything they could to revive her," said Rod Nelson, a spokesman for Transport Canada.

Harrison said the child was last seen at 6 a.m., when one of the parents gave her a bottle.

"The parents went back to sleep. There was no reason to believe there would be any problem."

Added Harrison: "This is total misadventure. There is no negligence and we can't foresee there being any charges. This is just a terrible accident."

B.C. Regional Coroner Jeff Dolan said an inquest into the incident could be ordered once all the facts come in. Should that happen, recommendations may be made to improve safety conditions aboard houseboats.

"Right now we're focusing on the autopsy and toxicology tests, which are being done at Vancouver Children's Hospital today," he said.

Inquests are ordered within 12 months of the date of death, he said.

Nelson said houseboats are governed by the same safety regulations as other watercraft.

"They are required to carry a personal flotation device for each person on board. They are only supposed to carry so many people," he said.

"Slides don't fall under our regulations at all. The coroner is the only one who could recommend making any changes. We'll have to wait and see.

"This is a very unfortunate accident. A real tragedy," Nelson said.

The Vancouver Sun 2005

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=c07296fe-067b-4409-916c-4addcf65ff30

Danimal
08-16-2005, 02:56 PM
Very Sad. I can't even fathom loosing a child.

erkoehler
08-16-2005, 03:18 PM
That is a tragic accident.

SteveO
08-16-2005, 03:20 PM
Sobering indeed. Hopefully this will serve a safety reminder to all. You can't be too safe on the water

maristarman
08-16-2005, 03:35 PM
Steve0, I thought you were on sabbatical?

6ballsisall
08-16-2005, 03:35 PM
ugg.... being a parent now the thought is just mind shattering. I cannot imagine the anguish the family is going thru right now.

SteveO
08-16-2005, 04:09 PM
Steve0, I thought you were on sabbatical?

That is StevO 137 that is on sabbatical. I'm the Texas based SteveO

jbfootin
08-16-2005, 04:09 PM
This is a tragidy, but why would you just leave a 2 year old alone and go back to sleep...especially on a house boat surounded by rushing water? Did they think the child was going back to sleep also?....where they that hungover?...We don't let our 4 year old by the lake by himself yet. If he is outside, we are also. Not alway by his side but where we can at least see him and check on him.

6ballsisall
08-16-2005, 04:28 PM
This is a tragidy, but why would you just leave a 2 year old alone and go back to sleep...especially on a house boat surounded by rushing water? Did they think the child was going back to sleep also?....where they that hungover?...We don't let our 4 year old by the lake by himself yet. If he is outside, we are also. Not alway by his side but where we can at least see him and check on him.


You bring up a valid point but giving the parents the benefit of the doubt, stuff just happens and hind sight is always 20/20. They probably had great intentions as parents but everyone makes errors. That being said, I do hope this gets heavily publicized so more people become more congnizant of water safety.

Kevin 89MC
08-16-2005, 06:17 PM
Man, when I read stuff like this, if I put myself in their shoes, it's hard to hold back the tears. My daughters, 4 and 2, are just never get close to the water (much less in a boat) without their lifejackets on. They both even get their own jackets whenever we're going on the boat. We don't need to make a big deal about it, it's just natural, like buckling them in their car seats. The 4 yr old is learning how to swim, but it will be a long time before we'll let her swim with no jacket on, not to mention without being watched. Minnesota passed a law that mandates kids under 10 always have life jackets on in boats. Everyone I know already did this, so it won't even affect us. To me it's just common sense. Maybe the folks that had the tragety weren't used to being around water. That's a inconceivable way to learn a lesson. not sure I could handle something like that. I'm going to hug my kids extra long tonight.
Kevin

lakes Rick
08-16-2005, 06:26 PM
Parents are not equipped emotionally to deal with their kids going before them..
My brother was killed at 20 in an electrical accident.... My parents were in pain for years and I think my mom died early on because of it.. My prayers for these parents because they will never forgive themselves for what happened and will always second guess themselves....... Rick

ski_patrol_72
08-16-2005, 06:57 PM
Yes this is tragic that this has happened. I hope now that the houseboat companies pay a little closer attention to detail when building these and better goverment regulations come out of this. For those of you not familer with this type of house boat, it has a small penthouse with windows leading out onto the top deck. About 10 feet to the stern is the top of the slide with no gate on it. The railing wraps around but stops at the slide. Its not that hard for a gate to be added to this. When you are paying upwards of $5000 a week for a rental, you expect the units to be safe. This was not the parents fault at all. The child was sleeping with them and awoke and decided to get up. Just like what the child would do at home. Being a paramedic, my heart goes out to the family as I have seen this far too often. This area is a large house boat rec spot in Canada. Less then an hour from my house. This is the second fatality involving a houseboat this year in our area. The other one was a houseboat flipping over with more then 60 people on it. One girl is dead after that incident. I just hope that better regulations come out of this and the companies take some responsibilty and make the changes themselves. On another point, is it that hard for the rental companies to park with the slides to the dock side and not the water side. Yes this may not be the answer, but if a child slide down the slide and landed on the dock, they would only get some scrapes and buises by landing on the dock. Who knows, we just need better regulation.
Sorry to get a little long winded, im just tired of responding to calls like this.

rlivingood
08-16-2005, 07:03 PM
So sorry. I have a two and four year old and couldn't imagine this type of loss.

For this this very reason of fear of loosing a young one around a house boat we decided to wait 4 or 5 more years at least before taking a week trip to the lake on a houseboat.

I'm worried enough about drunk adult passangers falling off and drownding and that I normally have a few drinks in the afternoon when houseboating that make me less than and "ideal" watchful parent.

This combined says we'll wait.

Given the number of houseboat rentals, I'm sure this is just a statistical occurance, but sure that doesn't make anyone feel any better

PendO
08-16-2005, 08:25 PM
Man that is terrible ... first thing we do is put a life jacket on our kids when we get to the water ... sure they cry, but water and infant/todlers that cannot swim just don't mix well without a lifejacket. Our daughter (2) wears hers all day, in an out of the cabin ... just in case she gets away ... our son is 9mo so he gets held most of the time, but every time you turn your back he is headed right for the seawall, kids are just attracted to danger.

This is way worse than the little girl loosing her arm kneeboarding ... but *** are some of these people thinking, just breaks your heart. My prayers go out to them.

PendO
08-16-2005, 08:28 PM
This is a tragidy, but why would you just leave a 2 year old alone and go back to sleep...especially on a house boat surounded by rushing water? Did they think the child was going back to sleep also?....where they that hungover?...We don't let our 4 year old by the lake by himself yet. If he is outside, we are also. Not alway by his side but where we can at least see him and check on him.

Willing to bet the majority of posters here grew up around the water, so what is common sence to us, is not common sence to others ...

6ballsisall
08-16-2005, 08:30 PM
I have to believe the parents most likely attempted to tend to their child and the houseboat manufacturer would not build anything known to be unsafe for small children. The fact of the matter is that accidents do happen and while this incident is unfortunately a statistic and there is something to learn from here I hardly find it right to blame the boat manufacturer for the cause of this tragedy.

jimmer2880
08-17-2005, 05:56 AM
If the parents brought a baby on board (yes, I'm still calling a 2 year old a baby), they should have also brought along items to "baby proof" the boat. Just like staying at a friends house. When we travel somewhere & plan on spending the night, we carry with us a large assortment of outlet covers, door knob locks and a baby-gate. The baby-gate in the very least could have been put at the top of the slide with a lock on the slider.


I'm with Jeff, it's not the boat manufacture's responsibility to baby-proof the boat. That's the parent's job.

Having said that.... Our daughter knows she can't even go down the steps to the dock without her lifejacket. It's been like that since the day she was born. In MD, all children under a certain age (I can't remember what age) on a boat less than 20' need to wear a PFD at all times. This boat would allow the child to not wear a jacket. So - I'm also with rlivingood - they should have post-poned the trip till the kids were much older.

jbfootin
08-17-2005, 09:03 AM
Willing to bet the majority of posters here grew up around the water, so what is common sence to us, is not common sence to others ...
That is a very true statement. I grew up around water, and always had to wear a lifebelt until I was old enough and could swim well without it, and my children are now being raised with those same rules. Most of the post sound like they are doing the same. Some people don't realize that these accidents happen in a heartbeat.

milkmania
08-17-2005, 10:22 AM
Very Sad. I can't even fathom loosing a child.

depending on the circumstances....
I'll eat a bullet....if I lose my family, I have nothing

ie:
car accident

milkmania
08-17-2005, 10:30 AM
Yes this is tragic that this has happened. I hope now that the houseboat companies pay a little closer attention to detail when building these and better goverment regulations come out of this. For those of you not familer with this type of house boat, it has a small penthouse with windows leading out onto the top deck. About 10 feet to the stern is the top of the slide with no gate on it. The railing wraps around but stops at the slide. Its not that hard for a gate to be added to this. When you are paying upwards of $5000 a week for a rental, you expect the units to be safe. This was not the parents fault at all. The child was sleeping with them and awoke and decided to get up. Just like what the child would do at home. Being a paramedic, my heart goes out to the family as I have seen this far too often. This area is a large house boat rec spot in Canada. Less then an hour from my house. This is the second fatality involving a houseboat this year in our area. The other one was a houseboat flipping over with more then 60 people on it. One girl is dead after that incident. I just hope that better regulations come out of this and the companies take some responsibilty and make the changes themselves. On another point, is it that hard for the rental companies to park with the slides to the dock side and not the water side. Yes this may not be the answer, but if a child slide down the slide and landed on the dock, they would only get some scrapes and buises by landing on the dock. Who knows, we just need better regulation.
Sorry to get a little long winded, im just tired of responding to calls like this.

All I can think about is a gate for the slide & sliding glass door locks for the sliding glass doors located about 4 feet from the ground.

Hell, even a security alarm would have saved this little girls life:rant:
set the alarm on the home feature, and you know when the kids get out! that's the way we did it.

I didn't figure these people were irresponsible when I read the story, because like you say, $5000.00 a week isn't for everybody!

ski_patrol_72
08-17-2005, 11:10 AM
I will give the house boat rental companies credit that they are working on a alarm that can be attached to the childs wrist and it will go off if it gets wet. I know this will not be fool proof as what happends when the child just takes the alarm off.
Im not totally blaming the houseboat companies, just we need standards here in Canada simular to houses. Yes this is a house on water. Just the manufacturs should look at these things and make changes. And like another reader had said, the parents may of been new to the houseboat renting, then is it not the rental companies to educate the renter. Just a tragic thing that had to happen.

Bert
08-18-2005, 12:38 AM
I will give the house boat rental companies credit that they are working on a alarm that can be attached to the childs wrist and it will go off if it gets wet. I know this will not be fool proof as what happends when the child just takes the alarm off.
Im not totally blaming the houseboat companies, just we need standards here in Canada simular to houses. Yes this is a house on water. Just the manufacturs should look at these things and make changes. And like another reader had said, the parents may of been new to the houseboat renting, then is it not the rental companies to educate the renter. Just a tragic thing that had to happen.

ski_patrol, I think this family was naive with respect to the hazards associated with house boating. As you are aware this is the house boating capitol of Canada (300+ rental boats) and i believe these rental companies need to do more to educate and protect their customers. As you said safety standards are required for the construction of these boats.
I have been visiting this lake for over twenty years and my initial reaction when I hearing of another drowning was, here we go again another drunk house boater. Lot's of stupid asses out there drinking, house boating and drinking these days.
This was different, just a family that plunked down a credit card, attended a one hour orientation and are turned loose with a boat. I don't know how as a parent you could live with your self after a tragedy like this.
All you have to do pay the $$ and they turn you out with up to a 96' house boat, doesn't matter that you may not have ever driven a boat before and you can rent a Master Craft to tow behind it. They go for $2600 a week.