National Boating Safety Week
It’s National Safe Boating Week, and governors throughout the country are urging citizens not to take boating safety for granted. Each year, boating claims 709 lives in the United States, 54 of which are weather related.
As Memorial weekend nears, the ceremonial start of boating season begins. Before you set sail, have your boat inspected, check the weather report, get a NOAA Weather Radio make sure all your passengers wear a life jacket, and steer clear of alcohol.
Important facts about boating safety and accidents/casualties
- The majority of boating deaths occur on lakes and rivers, even though they cover less than 1 percent of the earth’s surface. In 2008, a combined 559 deaths happened on lakes and rivers. On the other hand, our oceans cover roughly 72 percent of the earth’s surface with only 40 deaths occurring on them in 2008.
- Don’t be fooled by thinking you can avoid hypothermia in warmer waters. It only takes a few hours to exhibit hypothermic conditions such as exhaustion and/or unconsciousness in water temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Although there were 124 environmental-related boating deaths in 2008, most deaths were due to vessel operations. Of the primary contributing factors to boating deaths in 2008, a total of 298 deaths were associated with vessel operations, with 124 of those deaths caused by alcohol use.
- Rough seas and high winds can certainly lead to boating accidents and deaths, but the majority of boating accidents and deaths in 2008 occurred in calm seas and light wind. In 2008, 4824 accidents and 633 deaths happened in calm seas/light wind conditions.
Boating Safety Tips
Before you set sail for a day on the water, be sure to check your local weather and marine forecast from the National Weather Service.
Additional safe boating tips