Safe Boating Campaign raises awareness, offers boating safety tips

The highest boating traffic time is during the summer, so it’s important to be responsible and take necessary precautions.

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The Safe Boating Campaign, a program of the National Safe Boating Council, offers boaters these tips to prevent a boating accident:

  • Always wear a life jacket - Drowning is the reported cause of death in 76 percent of all boating fatalities and 84.5 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2017. Wearing a life jacket at all times while boating is the simplest safety step a boater can take. Boaters can choose from a variety of U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets appropriate for their water activity.
  • Never boat under the influence - Boating under the influence is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. The side effects of alcohol or drug use, such as impaired judgement, reduced balance and poor coordination are magnified while boating. Impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters than for drivers since most boaters have less experience and confidence operating a boat than they do a car. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, a partner of the Safe Boating Campaign, is coordinating Operation Dry Water from July 5 to 7 in every U.S. state and territory to raise awareness about BUI dangers.
  • Use an engine cut-off device - An engine cut-off device is a proven safety device to stop the boat's engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard. In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 172 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller. These accidents resulted in 31 deaths and 162 injuries, which may have been prevented if the boat operator was wearing an engine cut-off device.

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