For so many summer means lots of time on the water. When I lived in Minnesota I saw so many boating accidents; tragic accidents with unspeakable consequences. Most of which could have been avoided if people would treat boats as seriously as they treat cars. Just because it’s on the water doesn’t mean people can’t be injured or even killed by negligence.
- In 2010, the Coast Guard counted 4604 accidents that involved 672 deaths, 3153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
- Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, eighty-eight (88) percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket.
- Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of the deaths.
- Twenty-one children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2010.
Safe Boating Campaign has a website filled with safety tips, helpful links and even a kid friendly portion to help your family learn about boating safety.
Take the Pledge to Boat Safely
Sadly, many who are injured or killed in boating accidents are innocent victims, often in other boats. That’s why it pays to make sure you are boating safely. Take the Boat Safely Pledge:
I pledge to boat safely each and every time I go out on the water, keeping myself, my family, my friends and fellow boaters from harm’s way. I will always boat responsibly by:
- Wearing my life jacket and ensuring that everyone on board wears their life jacket (when in a small boat, or operating in rough water or threatening weather conditions)
- Remaining sober and alert – remembering that the use of alcohol contributes to accidents on the water
- Staying in control of my craft and respecting the right of others enjoying the waterways
- Knowing and obeying navigation rules, operating at a safe speed and maintaining a proper lookout
Share Your Best Boating Story
Do you have a great memory from a day on the boat? Share it to enter to win a Summer Fun Package including a life jacket, beach towel and Flip Mino HD camcorder.
Wear It! is part of SafeBoatingCampaign.com. This post was not compensated in any way; Family Rambling shares this information with the wish that you have safe and memorable travels.