Often, the thought of taking a boat out for the day is exciting; many people do not take into account how dangerous boating can be. Whenever you operate a piece of equipment as large as a boat with complex electrical and mechanical components, it is important to be as prepared for an emergency as possible. To be vigilant in boat maintenance, to keep your boat up to date with the United States Coast Guard stipulated boating regulations, keeping your boat properly equipped, as well as giving your whereabouts and expected return date to family members and friends.
In 2012, the Coast Guard counted 4,588 accidents with 758 deaths and 3,081 injuries. That is approximately 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered vessels with a 14.8% fatality rate. The fatality rate has risen 5.2%, a big indicator that things need to change. A large percentage of people who died did so because they were not wearing a life jacket.
Boating responsibly can be the difference between severe injury, death and a simple close-call. There are an uncountable amount of dangerous situations that can crop up. It may be as simple as requiring all passengers to wear life jackets and educating them on what to do in dangerous situations (like using a compass). Or it may be getting your boat checked up regularly.
1. Take a Safety Course
2. Wear Your PDF (Lifejacket)
3. Learn Water Survival Techniques
4. Have Safety Devices (PLB, EPIRB)
5. Commit to a Safety Check
6. Know the Rules of the Waterways
7. Check the Weather
8. Have a Float Plan
Make sure to check back for blog posts about each individual topic! We will update the links here as we cover them.