BE SMART THIS SUMMER!
Every year we hear the tragic stories about accidents on the water. Yet many times, these accidents are completely avoidable. Each year there are thousands of accidents and hundreds of deaths across the country on our lakes. The #1 cause … Stupidity.
Boating is all about a good time – nothing brings friends and families together like time on the water. But that good time also comes with a higher level of responsibility. Too often, accidents happen when a person(s) avoid common sense and takes un-needed risks – And yes are stupid. We all know it – for the thousands of responsible boaters – there are always a few stupid people that turn a good time into tragedy.
- Boating Under The Influence – how many times do we have to hear about boating accidents and deaths where alcohol was a major contributor? In Georgia – Boating Under The Influence is blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more – or if drugs are detected.
- Running too fast at night – Most boaters understand navigating at night is an entirely different world. Each time out the water can look different. Slow it down at night – if you’re in that much of a hurry you shouldn’t have been out in the first place.
- Not Understanding Basic Navigation and Right Of Way – How often are you cut off or not sure which way a person is headed? Make sure you understand who has the right of way and when you need to yield. This is not an ego thing!!
- Thinking Accidents Won’t Happen To You. Don’t fall for a false sense of security and comfort. Always be aware and as the boat driver /captain – it is your responsibility to keep everyone around you safe. Accidents happen when you think they won’t.
- Not wearing a proper life jacket – If something unfortunate does happen, wearing the proper life jacket may be the only thing that keeps you from a search and recovery mission.
The list of Stupidity can go on and on and we certainly are not trying to be insensitive to any tragedy - unfortunately we know that many accidents can be avoided.
This summer- please be aware, knowledgeable, and don’t be stupid. Avoid thinking nothing will ever happen. Wear a proper life jacket and please refresh your skills and knowledge by taking a boating safety course – no matter how much experience you already have.
There are several safe boating courses available – Here are a few resources
Georgia Department Of Natural Resources http://d7.gadnr.org/le/boating-education
US Coast Guard Auxiliary http://www.cgaux.org/boatinged/class_finder/index.php
Atlanta Sail & Power Squadron http://atlantasboatingclub.com/public-classes/basics-of-boating-boatsmart