This week, boating enthusiasts in San Diego and throughout the state and country will mark the annual National Safe Boating Week. To educate and inform boaters of all skill levels, especially in light of the recent fatal boating accidents in California, the United States Coast Guard is offering a list of safety tips aimed to avoid boat accidents, injuries and deaths.
- Take a boating safety course. About 70 percent of boating accidents are caused by some operator error, so it is essential that boaters educate themselves before heading out onto the water. There are courses for people of all ages and skill levels, and for all types of recreational boaters.
- Wear a life jacket. According to the Coast Guard, a staggering 80 percent of boating accident fatalities could be avoided through the proper use of a live jacket. When accidents take place, there is rarely time to reach stowed life jacket. Therefore, it is important to wear them at all times while on the water.
- Do a vessel safety check. Conduct a check of your boat prior to going out onto the water to make sure that it is in good working condition. You may also want to have it periodically checked by experts.
- Be aware of carbon monoxide. This dangerous gas is often undetectable by boaters because its symptoms are similar to those associated with seasickness. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and it can cause extreme sickness or even death. Make sure to educate yourself and your passengers on its dangers, and to have your boat checked for its presence.
By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a safe and fun boating season!
Source: TC Palm, “National Safe Boating Week May 22-28: Tips for boating safely this summer,” May 16, 2012