Spending a sunny day on a boat is not without risk. As the Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, there have already been six incidents of a fatal boating accident in the state this year. Several other accidents led to injuries. While the circumstances surrounding every situation may be unique, it is certain that better precaution and safety can prevent these accidents from happening.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a fatal accident at sea is likely to be linked to alcohol consumption. The Coast Guard states that more than half the incidents involve alcohol use. People who are operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be killed.
On board a vessel, people may experience exaggerated effects of alcohol due to the following:
- The rocking of the boat
- Windy conditions
- Excessive heat and sun exposure
Alcohol is not the only factor that plays a role in many fatal accidents. The Coast Guard also notes that careless driving and improper guidance can lead to a crash. Also, there are laws regarding the personal flotation devices that should be on board. The life jackets must be Coast Guard-approved and there must be one for every passenger. Further, children who are younger than 6 years old are supposed to wear a life jacket at all times.
Boat operators must realize that when they fail to take the proper precautions, they not only put themselves at risk, but they also endanger the lives of their passengers and others on the water.