July 8, 2013

Safe Boating Week

Boating accidents are a major concern of the U.S.
Coast Guard. Earlier this summer, they announced
the arrival of National Safe Boating Week, and took
the opportunity to remind recreational boaters about
the importance of operating vessels safely and
equipping them with proper safety equipment. A
kingpin of their safety initiative is the Vessel Safety
Check, intended to ensure that all necessary safety
equipment is in place, including PFDs, or personal
floatation devices. The Coast Guard also mentions
the nationwide availability of boating safety courses.
Varying in skill level, these courses can provide
instruction in seamanship, boat handling, navigation,
rules of the road, and safety equipment. As an added
safety measure, the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers
free vessel safety checks throughout the nation’s
waters, including bays, inlets, rivers, lakes, and
other locations. The Coast Guard also reminds
boaters of the leading factors in serious boating
accidents, which include alcohol use. According to
the Coast Guard, the top five contributing factors to
boating accidents are operator inattention, operator
inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure,
and excessive speed. Also see
causes of boating
accidents. In addition, they cannot stress enough the
importance of having life jackets aboard, and
wearing those life jackets. (USCG)

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