A Day on the Water
Summer is the perfect time to get out on a body of water and enjoy a long summer day. Whether you are on a boat on a lake or jet skiing out at sea, spending time on the water is a fun way to take in a hot summer day. There is a plethora of activities you can partake in out on the water such as boating, jet skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, tubing and sunbathing, just to name a few. Although all these activities are “boatloads” of fun, they do not come without their respective dangers. That is why it is important to consider the potential ramifications of these water-based activities.
To start, let us consider some statistics relating to recreational boating. First, according to a study by the U.S. Coast Guard, “[i]n 2019, the Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.” Also, the fatality rate “was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.” Interestingly enough, “[w]here cause of death was known, 79% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86% were not wearing a life jacket.” Additionally, there were many different types of water vessels involved in these incidents, with “open motorboats (48%), kayaks (14%), and personal watercraft (8%)” with the highest percentage of deaths.
Obviously, not all boating and watercraft incidents result in death. Many watercraft injuries lead to severe and possibly permanent physical injuries. These injuries include, but are certainly not limited to, whiplash, burns, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and even amputation. Keep in mind, these injuries can occur while participating in any of the aforementioned activities. Given that these injuries can occur during nearly all of these activities, it is crucial that you do not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you are not physically prepared to do. For example, you should think twice about going high-speed jet skiing if you have never driven a jet ski or been properly taught to operate the same. Although that may have seemed liked an obvious point, it is sometimes not considered in the moment.
It is also important to monitor the consumption of alcoholic beverages you and the others around you are having during your summer day on the water. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to dehydration and can diminish your motor skills and decision-making. As such, if you are indulging in alcoholic beverages, you should not be operating a watercraft of any kind and you should find a ride home after getting off the water. Simply put, drinking and driving should never occur, even when you are on the water.
At the end of the day, your time on the water should be enjoyable, fun and relaxing. To make sure you accomplish the perfect day on the water, please be cognizant of the potential dangers and take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and your friends. Have a safe day out on the water!