With the start of traditional boating season only 1,608 hours away, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is reminding boaters to take a boating education course. In 2009, 86% of boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received formal boating safety training according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The Coast Guard is looking to reduce boating fatalities and accidents across the nation.
Other finding from the National Transportation Safety Board include:
·Over the past 10 years, more than 7,000 boaters have died— about 5,000 of them by drowning.
·In 2009, three-fourths of all fatal boating accidents resulted from the victims drowning. 84 percent were not wearing life jackets.
·Seven out of ten who drowned were in open motorboats less than 21 feet in length.
Coast Guard Auxiliary units around the country conduct boater education courses year-round. Courses include an eight-hour About Boating Safety course, as well as the thirteen-week Boating Skills and Seamanship course. For more information on safe boating courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, please visit: CGAUX.org
Above is the most recent press release from the US Coast Guard. It’s softening up the grounds around mandatory PFD rules which they and many other well-meaning safety organizations are pushing to force PDF wear on all boats. Frankly, I and most boaters, believe mandatory PFD wear will do far less than increased education to promote boating safety and the Coasties and safety peeps should focus on that effort, not a blanket rule on life jackets.
Check out the editorial at this link for more information and if you disagree with this draconian approach to boating safety, please contact your congressmen and state legislators.