The following safe boating tips from the U.S. Coast Guard can help boating operators avoid accidents during this 101 Critical Days of Summer, which runs through Labor Day:
  • Wear your life jacket while boating Life jacket use by all boat occupants can reduce drownings. When properly fitted, a life jacket can help prevent a tragedy. It is estimated that 426 lives could have been saved in 2005 if all boaters had worn life jackets.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages while boating Alcohol use affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination. Add in the heat from the sun, and you have a deadly combination. Reports suggest that alcohol is a contributing factor in about one-quarter of all boating fatalities.
  • Complete a boating education course More than 40 percent of reported incidents in 2005 involved operator-controllable factors. The primary causes of incidents are carelessness or recklessness, operator inattention, operator inexperience, and unsafe speeds. Boating education courses teach the regulatory and statutory rules ("Rules of the Road") for the safe operation and navigation of recreational boats. Nearly 70 percent of all boating fatalities occurred on boats where the boat operator had not attended a boating safety education course. Most base services units offer boating education courses. Check with your local services unit for details.