1. Boating Safety
  2. Booze and Boating a Deadly Cocktail
  3. Life Jackets Float...You Don't
  4. Personal Watercraft Safety

Boating Safety

Safe America

Boating at a nearby river, lake or ocean is a great way to relax after a hectic week. Unfortunately, however, approximately 800 people die in boating-related accidents each year. About half of the deaths involve alcohol. And, nearly nine out of ten victims who drown were not wearing a life jacket. You can enjoy boating and stay safe by following these tips from the U.S. Coast Guard and National Safe Boating Council.

  1. Get a list of recommended safety equipment from the Coast Guard and make sure all items are on board and in working condition. You and all you passengers should have a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) that fits properly.
  2. Leave your itinerary with someone. Tell them who you will be with, how long you will be gone, and where you plan to go.
  3. Fill tanks 90-92 percent full to allow for expansion. Close hatches and opening before fueling. Turn off electrical heat and appliance. NO SMOKING while fueling.
  4. Check the weather forecast before getting underway.
  5. Capsizing occurs on small boats because of sudden weight shifts. Move carefully.
  6. Give swimmers, skiers and divers plenty of distance.
  7. Stay alert, keep your eyes open and empty many of the same defensive measures you use behind the wheel of a car.
  8. No alcohol while boating is safest. If there is alcohol, use a designated driver.
  9. Know the rules and regulations of the area you will be navigating.
  10. If you have any other questions about how to be a safer boater, call the Boating Safety Hotline: 800-368-5647.

The Safe America Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to injury prevention and the practice of good safety habits through the distribution of safety products and innovative educational programs. For more information call: 770-218-0071 or email: safeamerica@mindspring.com

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Personal Watercraft Safety

Safe America

Spending time on the water is a great way to relax. It's important to remember, however, that a personal watercraft (PWC) is not a toy. While only 5 percent of the boats in the water are PWC, they account for 30-40 percent of boating accidents. In a PWC, you are legally in command and bound by boating laws. To ride safely remember these tips from the Personal Watercraft Industry Association:

  1. Right of way - Sailboats, commercial vessels and fishing vessels always have the right of way. Stay to the right when approaching an oncoming boat, so it passes on your left side.
  2. Awareness - Constantly look around for traffic on the water.
  3. Operating Speed - Follow local regulations/speed limits and lower your speed in congested areas.
  4. Passengers - Never carry more than the maximum passenger load for your craft. If you loan your craft be sure he/she is of legal operating age and knows how to operate it safely.
  5. Maintenance - Make sure the throttle and all switches are working properly, that fuel and battery lines are properly connected, that no fuel is leaking, and the that cables and steering are working.
  6. Don't Use Alcohol or Drugs - Alcohol and drugs reduce your reflexes and decision-making ability. Many laws related to driving under the influence are also enforced on the water.

The Safe America Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to injury prevention and the practice of good safety habits through the distribution of safety products and innovative educational programs. For more information call: 770-218-0071 or email: safeamerica@mindspring.com

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