The family of Keith White, a London man who died after falling from a cruise boat on Lake Ontario, has launched a million-dollar lawsuit over his death.

His mother Sherry White says, "What he saw the last few seconds of his life was that boat sailing away and leaving him in the water. He was a lifeguard, too. He knew he was going to die then. He knew. Waving his arms and calling for help - and I can't get the picture out of my head."

Keith, 34, who has been described as caring, compassionate and outgoing, drowned after falling from the "Northern Spirit" just off the shoreline of Toronto on June 13, 2015.

He was attending a party with his girlfriend, another couple and about 400 other people when he fell. The ship did turn around, but they were unable to locate Keith when it returned.

His body wasn't recovered until more than two weeks later, on July 1st.

Now his family and his estate are suing the unnamed captain of the boat, operator Mariposa Cruises, Ankur Entertainment and event manager Andrew Gook for negligence in the drowning.

They say proper safety precautions were not taken prior to the incident and the cruise operators failed to launch a proper rescue.

Lawyer Phillip Millar represents the family and says, "These events are known as 'booze cruises.' You know, on the streets, where they invite people to come on and party. And I think a lot of people just assume they can go on these cruises and it's a safe environment. The tragedy is - this is clear water, daylight, in view of shore."

A statement released by the firm adds that they also calling for a public inquiry into how cruises operate and the safety measures that are in place.

Sherry says, "I know I can't bring my son back and that's the most important thing to me. And, if I can't bring him back I want to make a difference so it doesn't happen to anyone else."

A spokesperson for Mariposa Cruises has expressed sympathy in media reports, but the family says they have never been contacted.

On Friday, the company released a statement that reads, "Mariposa Cruises continues to extend its condolences to the family of Keith White. We have cooperated fully with all investigative bodies throughout this tragedy.

"Mariposa Cruises followed all applicable safety requirements for this cruise, as with all others. While it is unfortunate that the family of Mr. White is resorting to legal action, we are confident that the full facts of this matter will come to light, and in due course, will exonerate Mariposa Cruises from any liability.

"In light of the fact that Mr. White’s relatives will be pursuing this in court, we must respect that process and decline to comment further at this time."

The defendants in the lawsuit have been given 20 days to respond to the filing, which was made in Toronto. None of the allegations have been proven in court.