It's almost Fourth of July weekend and you very well may be making preparations for a fun-filled boating weekend in San Diego. In the frenzy of getting everything together, make sure to remember everything you need to keep yourself and your family safe, such as U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for everyone.
Do everything you can to avoid boating accidents by actively using safe boating techniques. The U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division provides the online Boating Safety Resource Center, which is packed with tips on safe boating as well as boating safety courses for all types of recreational boaters and all ages.
The website also talks about the dangers and illegality of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the Coast Guard, BUI is a factor in about a third of all recreational fatal boat accidents.
Drink for drink, according to the Coast Guard, a boat operator is likely to become impaired more quickly than a motorist. The trickier elements when driving in water vs. on land, such as the engine noise, water spray, motion from waves, and wind, work to compound the fatigue, coordination and reaction time of an impaired boater.
To avoid a BUI and an accident:
- Bring plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on your boat ride
- Bring along plenty of food and snacks
- If you want to make alcohol part of your entertainment for the day, choose a location on land and give yourself plenty of time to sober up before you get back into your boat or car
- Having no alcohol on board is the safest way to avoid accidents -- even intoxicated passengers can fall overboard
Be safe and have an enjoyable Fourth of July weekend!