We're not even at the unofficial start of boating season with Memorial Day Weekend, and some dreadful statistics are already being reported in various parts of the US... right smack dab in the middle of National Safe Boating Week.
In South Carolina, boating deaths as of the beginning of May have already surpassed the total number of boating deaths in the state for all of 2009.
In the Northeast, 21 recreational boaters and paddlers have died this year, the highest number on record according to the USCG.
This year, the “WEAR IT!” message from the North American Safe Boating Campaign is crystal clear and it’s based on the following simple fact. If more boaters wear life jackets, less will die while boating. Nationwide, in nearly 70 percent of the 700 average annual boating-related deaths, the actual cause of death is drowning. Of that 70 percent, almost 90 percent of the victims were not wearing a life jacket.
What does "boat safety" mean to you? Here are a few of our favorites.
For more on these and other boating safety tips, visit our Safety on Boats page.
- Life jackets. Wear one.
- Designated driver. Have one.
- Float plan. Leave one with someone.
- Safety course. Take and pass one.
- On-the-water training. Get some.