Many of us access our dive sites by boat, which makes a look at boater safety relevant to this site, particularly when you look at the statistics.
Two people die in recreational boating accidents every day.
One-third of all recreational boating fatalities occur while people are fishing or hunting.
Open motorboats 21 ft and under are the most common types of boats involved in reported boating accidents.
90% of all victims who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
Historically, alcohol is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities.
COMPLYING WITH THE LAW
The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that every boater learn navigational skills, boating skills, and boat responsibly, which also includes wearing life jackets and having the right type and number onboard.
All recreational boats must carry one wearable lifejacket (Type I, II, III, or type V lifejacket) for each person aboard. A Type V lifejacket provides performance of either a Type I, II, or III lifejacket (as marked on its label) and must be used according to the label requirements. Any boat 16ft and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one throwable lifejacket (Type IV lifejacket). You can learn more about lifejacket regulations here.
BOATER SAFETY COURSES
There are many boater safety courses offered throughout the country for all types of recreational boaters and for boaters of all ages. Learn more about boater safety courses here.
Federal law requires the operator or owner to file a boating accident report with the State reporting authority when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:
A person dies
A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
Damage to property or vessels totals $2000 or more
Boat is destroyed
Download accident reporting form here.
Most states and territories accept this form. If you have an accident, file the form within 48 hours for a fatal accident or within 10 days for a non-fatal reportable accident with your state or territorial Boating Law Administrator.