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National Safe Boating Week starts tomorrow–Saturday. The Coast Guard uses this week to raise awareness of the risks facing every recreational boater.

We all love being out on the water–especially me–but are often reminded of the dangers when we hear about celebrities doing stupid things (I just read something about Goldie Hawn goofing around/trying to jump off a moving boat. Common sense is critical to safe boating as is situational awareness.), or hear about actual tragedies, various causes.

Many NFL players and, just last year, MLB player, Jose Fernandez – have made headlines, and while famous athletes actually account for an alarming rate of boating accidents, there are many other disturbing stories (including several this past week, on the south Florida waters) involving everyday people.

Yes, the total number of fatalities is actually down by 20% over the last decade, but we’re still averaging approximately 700 a year–8 out of every 10 victims not wearing a life jacket. Did you know that 85% of drownings resulting from boating accidents in the U.S. are due to people not wearing life jackets? An astounding statistic.

As an FYI, while total fatalities are down, I need to point out that there has been a 77% increase in paddle craft fatalities. Click here to download Paddler’s Safety Checklist, and by all means, avoid paddling with the sharks! Just thinking about the story out of southern California about the police helicopter telling the paddle boarder to move out of the area with 15 great whites!

In other boating news, beyond the one I just saw on WavStay, which is looking to be the AirBnB of boats..Larry Ellison pursues his America’s Cup ambitions with a racing series starting in Bermuda during Safe Boating Week (May 26)! Oracle Team USA is a two-time America’s Cup winner preparing to win for the third consecutive time!

 

andrew butler | Non Political News | Safe BoatingAndy Butler is a lifelong boater and Vice Flotilla Commander of Flotilla 65 in Fairhaven MA (the largest flotilla in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary). Andy is also District Staff Officer for vessel safety checks, and commodore’s aide in the first northern Division. He has his professional 50 ton captains license and has both sailed transatlantic and fished commercially for tuna in the Northeast canyons for 20 years.

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