Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tragedy on the Hudson

By now you've surely heard of the horrific accident on the Hudson River that injured four people and left one of the injured boater's bride-to-be and best man dead, just two weeks before the wedding.

All along, it has been reported that both alcohol and hard-to-see construction barges may have been factors in the collision. The boat's operator was arrested, and according to several news reports, investigators say he was under the influence of alcohol during the crash. Questions remain about whether the construction barges were lit clearly enough to avoid such a catastrophe. 

But one thing was clear from an article published today on ynn.com. Autopsies of both crash victims reveal that the cause of both of their deaths was drowning. Neither of them (in fact, none of the boat's passengers) were wearing life jackets.

Is it possible that if the boaters were wearing life jackets that this story could have had a less tragic ending?

In another incident, related only because of a similar, potentially avoidable, outcome, a 70 year old man fell out of his boat and drowned in a canal in Whiteville, North Carolina. This just happened yesterday. Apparently, he was fishing and capsized the small boat when he stood up to get a look at some birds. (Full story from wcnc.com.) Would a life jacket have changed the outcome?

Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lifeboat Safety

Everything You Need to Know About Lifeboat Safety... 

Lifeboat safety
A lifeboat on display at the Norwalk Boat Show. Photo © Nautical Sites Media.

Guest post contributed by Tom Rokins

Lifeboats are a remarkably useful bit of gear. They are designed with the express purpose of rescuing you from a spot of trouble and potentially saving your life. However, this does not mean they can’t be involved in accidents themselves.

This is, of course, to be expected – accidents do happen, in all walks of life – but there is a certain amount of irony involved when a lifeboat gets into a scrape.

Fortunately, the majority of accidents which involve lifeboats happen during drills, which means that fatalities are less likely, though they do still occur from time to time. This article is going to discuss the main causes of accidents, and what you can do to avoid them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

USA Today On Buying A Boat

USA Today article tackles one of our favorite subjects, but it might be missing the boat...

Pontoon boats at the Philly boat show
There were plenty of pontoon boats on display at boat shows this year.
Between the Daily Boater and FirstBoat.com, we offer plenty of tips for new boaters and advice about buying your first boat. Since we are so immersed in the topic, it was refreshing to see a mainstream media publication like USA Today take up the subject matter yesterday.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day to boaters across the United States! 

We'd like to wish a safe and happy Independence Day to boaters across the USA!

Please remember that this is one of the busiest weekends on the water all year.

With more people and boats on the water than usual, as well as with all the festivities, it is important to be extra careful while operating your vessel.

Be safe, have fun, and happy 4th of July!


Monday, July 01, 2013

Mississippi River High Water Blues

Flood-level waters causing hazards to boaters in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Boaters use caution...

Upper Mississippi
Photo source: fws.gov
Sort of sounds like a song, doesn't it? Well, it's not a tune that boaters want to hear. While droughts have been an issue on many rivers and lakes recently, interrupting pleasure boating as well as commercial activity, now, in some parts of the country, the opposite is causing problems.

The upper Mississippi River is at near flood-stage levels, according to articles in both Wisconsin and Minnesota newspapers. Higher, fast moving water has caused some locks to close and can lead to more hazards for boaters.

Read more at news8000.com: High water on Mississippi poses boating hazards and at startribune.com: High water disrupting Mississippi River traffic