There will, undoubtedly, be people that will fall out of boats this summer and drown. If that is true, what must we do to prevent it from occurring? Boating safety is the responsibility of every boat owner. Safety equipment on a boat is required to prevent the loss of life of any person on a boat. The problem is that although a boat has an adequate number of personal flotation devices, they are useless if no one puts them on. There are many people who get on a boat and cannot swim. A personal flotation device may be the difference between staying alive and dying.
Another problem that causes lives to be in danger is when boat operators drink and operate their boat. It is against the law to drink alcohol and operate a boat. Why would you put the people in your boat and other boats in danger because of your selfishness? If you must drink, then do not operate a boat.
It is important to pay close attention to the weather when going out on your boat. Storms cause conditions that make operating a boat extremely difficult. Part of a travel plan must include the weather for the time that you will be on a boat. You need to share this plan with someone.
In addition to boating safety, there are many other things that can cause problems in the water. Area swimming pools will open on Memorial Day. There will be drowning cases this summer from pool-related incidents. The leading cause of the drowning of a child in a pool is directly tied to a lack of parental supervision. Alcohol consumption is a often a contributor to a pool-related injury or death. This could result in diving in, striking your head on the bottom of the pool, and potentially breaking your neck or drowning because you cannot swim because alcohol could make you feel invincible.
Drowning cases can be prevented, but people have to know that it can happen to them before they are willing to take the necessary steps to prevent a problem. If you like being around water and you or your family cannot swim, then take swimming lessons. The only way to prevent a drowning is to be intentional about the necessary steps that it takes to prevent it.
I responded to a number of drowning cases during my years as a Coast Guardsman and as a firefighter. In every case, the drowning could have been prevented.
Deaths occur every day from natural causes. Why would we want to add death by drowning? Education about water safety is a step in the right direction.
Getting a courtesy inspection of your boat prior to use, gives each boat owner the peace of mind that the boat is ready for the water. Remember, if you have small children on your boat then you must have properly sized personal flotation devices for them.
Education of the dangers, enforcement of the law and common sense may prevent a drowning, but it has got to be a no-holds-barred approach.
As the weather continues to warm up, water activities will increase, raising the probability and the possibility of a drowning.
The possibility always exists, but when the probability increases, then we must see it as something that needs our attention.
I pray that you have a safe and happy summer.