In 2014, the number of recreational boating accidents totaled 610, the second lowest number of boating fatalities ever recorded. The lowest number of boating related deaths was 560 in 2013, according to the Coast Guard. Alcohol was the leading cause of these accidents, accounting for 21% of all deaths. Almost 71% of the victims drowned, and of those, it’s reported that 84% were not wearing a life vest as required by law. Here are great tips to help you prevent boating accidents this summer in Rhode Island and to ensure you won’t be part of the statistics.
Wear Life Jackets
A life jacket is the number one safety thing that every occupant should either put on or have available. When operating a watercraft, you need to have a life jacket at all times because you are closer to the water and there is a greater risk of falling in with no time to wear your life vest. If you’re on a larger vessel, it is not always a must that you put on a life vest at all times, particularly if the vessel has an interior space. However, use your common sense, if there are weather problems that may pose hazardous to your trip, wear your life vest at all times.
Always Be Alert
Just as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and risky, and is among the top causes of boating accidents. As mentioned above, alcohol is to blame for a number of boating related deaths. Alcohol tricks your brain into thinking that you’re sober and that you can operate a boat, while in reality you have lost the reactions required to operate your craft appropriately. Therefore, never operate your boat while under the influence of alcohol. Also, never travel in a vessel if you suspect the operator may have been taking alcohol or is otherwise intoxicated.
Inspect Your Boat
Even if you kept your watercraft in a storage, chances are it [Read more…]