Safe Boating... All Summer Long
(NC)In Canada, studies show boating is a safe family activity. Almost every problem we hear about is the result of a stupid decision mixing alcohol with boating and/or ignoring safety regulations. There are some very simple ways to keep you and your family safe while boating.
The most common accident to passengers and crew is falling overboard. In fact, 40% of all fatal boating accidents arise from this. It can be avoided if boaters make sure they have good footing and a good hand-hold at all times. If you need to move around in the boat, hold on to both sides and keep your weight low.
Don't mix alcohol and water. In a Red Cross Society study, two-thirds of boating injury victims where the blood alcohol level was recorded had consumed alcohol. Almost 40% had an alcohol level above the legal limit. In addition to being illegal, it's clearly a dangerous idea to operate a boat and drink.
Always carry enough Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) for each person on board. For water-skiing, fishing or simply cruising, PFDs are absolutely essential. It's now even easier to find the ideal PFD because they're available in a wide array of colours and patterns. Choose one to match your swimsuit or boat and make sure it fits properly! The Red Cross Society study noted 92% of boating-related drowning victims were not wearing a PFD or lifejacket correctly!
Boating, practiced by smart boaters is safe. U.S. statistics show boating is twice as safe as biking, five times as safe as driving and 24 times as safe as scuba diving. By practicing safe boating, you're guaranteed to have a great time boating all summer long.
To get more information on boating, including a free CD-ROM entitled "Discover Boating", visit www.discoverboating.ca.
- News Canada
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