Monday, August 21, 2017

Common Reasons for Boating Accidents | Choosing the Perfect Gift for the Boater in your Life


Contrary to popular beliefs, boating fatalities do not come from bad weather conditions or treacherous open waters. They, in fact, came from smaller open boats sailing through inland waters. Most of these accidents happen in broad daylight in calm waters, light winds, under good visibility.

In these relatively perfect conditions, passengers do fall overboard. Some activities often resulting in physical injuries and boats can capsize causing fatalities. Here are some of the statistics about boating accidents:

    According to the US Coast Guard report in 2015, there were 4,158 boating accidents that resulted in 626 fatalities and 2,613 injuries. 

    Recreational boating accidents cost about $42 million dollars of total damage to property. These accidents have a fatality rate of 5.3 deaths for each 100,000 registered recreational boats. 

    76% of fatal accidents on seas drowned, where 85% of those numbers did not use any life jackets.

    Out of 158 accidents reported, at least one person was hit by a boat’s propeller. 

    8 out of 10 boaters who drowned at seas were passengers of vessels with less than 21 feet in length.

Owning a boat and operating a boat is a big responsibility not everyone can master.  A more cautious operator will get a proper education, check every detail, and follow navigational rules as much as possible. Responsible operators will ensure everyone’s safety during the trip and make sure they behave accordingly while onboard. Sadly, not everyone can do it, as some of the most common accidents on boating occurred in these situations:

Inattentive Operator

Boat operators need constant vigilance at all times when sailing. They constantly need to monitor their boat, weather conditions, and any hazardous situations nearby. Weather conditions at sea change continuously which may require operators to look for early signs of a bad weather. 

Operators should also be sensitive to hazardous conditions nearby. Usually, accidents happen because boats lack a proper lookout. Even in good conditions, there should be a designated person to watch for hazards or threats in the water. 

Malfunctioning Equipment

Proper boat maintenance is an all important factor for its safe and reliable operations. Like cars, operators are responsible for making sure that their boats will run in good condition. They need to perform necessary inspections like checking for cracks and motor parts that may need repair or replacement. 

Inexperienced Operators

According to the yearly report of the US Coast Guard, 71% of deaths occurred on vessels where operators lack proper boating instructions. Another 15% of deaths happened on boats where operators had an approved national boating safety certificate. Inexperienced operators remain as the third leading common cause of boating accidents.

Having a proper education can only lessen the possibility of boating accidents. Operators also need to know how to handle life-threatening situations.

Excessive speed

Like motorized vehicles on the road, operating boats excessive speed is a dangerous thing to do. It can cause several accidents like crashing into another vessel and causing passengers to fall overboard. At top speed, operators will not have any time to react to dangers. 

Using alcohol while operating

Intoxication, drug use and any kind of machinery do not mix well, as it can cause serious injury even death. Alcohol tops the list as the leading contributing factor for fatal accidents on seas. 

Unfortunately, boating communities do not take the matter seriously. Many people still think that it alright to drink alcohol while on board or while operating a boat. This habit can lead to serious accidents like colliding with other vessels and falling overboard because of intoxication. In some states, the legal limit of blood alcohol for operating a boat is about 0.08%, the same limit for car drivers. 

Ignoring navigational rules

Similar to other types of vehicles on land, boats follow special navigational rules. Any violation of these rules, even the slightest misconception can immediately lead to dangerous situations. It can lead to collisions, crashes with other boats or people. Miscalculating the boat’s course can cause the boat to run aground which may lead to serious injuries and drowning. 

Bad Weather Conditions

Weather conditions at seas can literally change within a matter of minutes. Even when forecasted, there are situations that will come up unexpected. Operators need to monitor any changes in the current weather before heading out. They also need to be mindful of any shift in the wind pattern and never ignore any weather alerts.

Boating accidents can be prevented. If you are an avid boater or if you know one these can be an excellent guide on how to avoid any mishaps.  And if you are looking for an excellent gift to give a loved one who is an avid boater, Carved Lake Art has a wide array of nautical gifts for you! Check out these Great Lakes 3-D Nautical Wood Chart of Lake Michigan.

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