Did you know that North Carolina ranks 5th nationally in boating deaths and 7th for boating accidents in the U.S?
It's time of year again and I know many folks in our area head to the lake or to the coast. One of my favorite summer activities is going out on the lake or to the coast. It is certainly a lot of fun and relaxing. While it is great to
enjoy boating, it is also important to be safe and follow general safety
guidelines to ensure no one is injured.
For more information, take a few mins and smoke over this NC Wildlife report.
Because I'm all about information, here's some boating facts!
• In 2010, the Coast Guard counted 4,604 accidents that involved 672
deaths, 3,153 injuries and about $35.5 million dollars of damage to
property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
• Only nine percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
• Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience,
excessive speed and alcohol rank as the top five primary contributing
factors in accidents.
• Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating
accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of the
• Twenty-one children younger than age 13 lost their lives while boating
in 2010; 42 percent of the children who died in 2010 died from
• The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were
open motorboats (46 percent), personal watercraft (20 percent), and
cabin motorboats (14 percent).
National Recreational Boating Statistics
• Fatalities: 672
• Drownings: 484
• Injuries (requiring medical treatment beyond first aid): 3,153
• Boating Accidents: 4,604
• Property Damage: $35,552,283
• Number of registered recreational boats in the U.S.: 12,438,926
Choose the right life jacket
Today’s life jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and
materials. No matter which life jacket is chosen, be sure it’s right for
you, your planned activities, and the water conditions you expect to
• Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
• Make sure the life jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
• Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life
jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently
• If there is excess room above the openings and the life jacket rides
up over your chin or face, it does not fit properly. A snug fit in these
areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.
It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life
jacket. Life jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to
push up around your face, which could be dangerous. Life jackets that
are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat. If you are
boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted,
child-sized life jackets. Do not buy a life jacket for your child to
• Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
• Double-check that your life jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
• On recreational vessels under way, children younger than age 13 must
wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or
in an enclosed cabin.
Don’t drink alcohol while you boat. Alcohol use is the leading
contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the
leading factor in 19 percent of deaths. For more information on boating
under the influence, visit OperationDryWater.org.
Know the state boating laws before you get out on the water. Rules
and laws can differ from state to state and violations can result in
ticketing, fines or jail time.
Make sure your boat is as prepared as you are. There are many items
that need to be checked and re-checked on any boating vessel. Schedule a
boat inspection before you hit the water.
Check the weather. Know the latest marine weather forecast prior to
going out, and keep a regular check for changing conditions.
Keep in touch. Communication devices can be the most important piece
of emergency equipment on board a vessel, especially in case of
emergency. Cell phones, satellite phones, emergency position indicating
radio beacons, VHF radios and personal locator beacons can all
contribute in an emergency situation.
Use common sense! Don't be "that guy"! Have a great summer ya'll