WATERCRAFT SAFETY COURSE REVIEW 1
Are Most Boating Accidents and DeathsPreventable?
In a world where so much seems random and out of our control,most boating-related injuries and deaths are actually withinour control. Prevention is the key to reducing the number of water-related injuries and deaths, and education is essential to prevention.
Water-safety is an area where the old adage is true, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The U.S. Coast Guardfinds 70% of all boating accidents involve factors under thecontrol of the boat operator. In other words, the overwhelmingmajority of water-related accidents result from poor choices.For example, the choice to use alcohol while engaging in water-related recreation can be deadly. Alcohol is involved in nearlyhalf the water-related deaths among teens and adults.
According to the Coast Guard, approximately 70% of all boating fatalities arevictims of drowning; the other 30% of water-related deaths resultfrom trauma, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or othercauses. Most of these deaths are almost completely avoidable.Drowning rarely occurs when boaters are wearing an appropriatepersonal flotation device (PFD); yet, astoundingly 90% of drowningvictims are not wearing a life jacket or any personal flotation deviceat all.
Education is the key to reducing both the number and severity of boating accidents. The Coast Guard determined 80% of theboating fatalities occurred on boats operated by people whohave never completed a boating safety course. Armed withthose statistics, the National Transportation Safety Board hasdeclared water-safety education a priority.