(Manassas, VA, Monday, June 29, 2020) – The Safe Boating Campaign, a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating, reminds boaters to boat sober this Fourth of July. Boating under the influence, or BUI, is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The side effects of alcohol or drug use, such as impaired judgment, reduced balance and poor coordination, are magnified while boating, due to environmental conditions from the sun, wind and boat motion. Impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters, since most people have less experience and confidence operating a boat than they do driving a car.
Yvonne Pentz, communications director, National Safe Boating Council, explains the importance of not boating under the influence.
THE JULY FOURTH HOLIDAY IS AROUND THE CORNER, AND UNFORTUNATELY IT HAS BECOME KNOWN FOR DRINKING AND BOATING – AND DEADLY ACCIDENTS. OPERATING A BOAT – OR EVEN BEING A PASSENGER – IS INCREDIBLY RISKY WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS. DRUNKEN PASSENGERS CAN EASILY FALL OVERBOARD, SWIM NEAR THE PROPELLER, LEAN OVER THE SIDE, OR STAND UP IN SMALL BOATS CAUSING THE BOAT TO CAPSIZE. NEVER BOAT UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND ALWAYS DESIGNATE A SOBER SKIPPER.
THERE ARE MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS TO SEE WHILE BOATING, AND, LOTS OF DISTRACTIONS. AS CAPTAIN OF YOUR BOAT, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. THERE ARE THREE THINGS BOATERS CAN DO TO PREVENT A BOATING ACCIDENT: ONE) ALWAYS WEAR A LIFE JACKET – EIGHTY-SIX PERCENT OF DROWNING VICTIMS IN RECREATIONAL BOATING ACCIDENTS WERE NOT WEARING A LIFE JACKET. TWO) USE AN ENGINE CUT-OFF DEVICE – THIS WILL STOP THE BOAT’S ENGINE SHOULD THE OPERATOR UNEXPECTEDLY FALL OVERBOARD, AND THREE) NEVER BOAT UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
For more information, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.