Each Year hundreds of lives are lost, thousands are injured, and millions of dollars of boat and PWC insurance claims are filed because of recreational boating accidents that could be prevented. Too often power boating outings turn tragic. You—as as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual — can make a difference. Here are several boat safety tips:
Wear Your Life Jacket
Most people who are killed while boating drown and most people who drown are not wearing a life jacket. When you fall overboard, there is rarely time to get to a stowed life jacket. Modern life jackets are smaller and more comfortable than ever making it easy to "Wear It!" at all times.
Stay Sober in Your Boat
A boat operator with blood alcohol content above .08% is ten times more likely to die in a boating accident than an operator with zero blood alcohol. Other stressors such as sun, vibration and noise affect the body more when drinking alcohol. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in all states and a violation of Federal boating law.
Take America's Boating Course
Seventy percent of recreational boating accidents are caused by inexperience and lack of knowledge, particularly factors such as failure to pay attention, carelessness, recklessness, excessive speed, and failure to watch for hazards. Our boater safety course is inexpensive and quick a great way for you to learn boat safety, the rules of the road, and boating regulation. In many states, this safe boating course gives you the knowledge needed to pass your boat license or safety certification exam.
Get Your Boat Checked
The United States Power Squadrons offer a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC). Their goal is to prevent boaters from getting equipment-related citations and to reduce safety-related accidents. These boating safety equipment checks are meant to be educational and helpful, and are a good follow-up to any water safety course.