Top Boat Safety Tips

One of the byproducts of the Coast Guard Auxiliary's fatality study, using 1960 as the base year, is that the authors in the Office of Boating Safety have proposed a hierarchical or multi-tiered approach to saving lives and boating.

For example, one of their key programs is the Wear It push. To quote the authors: Don't just carry (the life jacket as regulations require) the life jacket, but wear it. It's simple advice, but as the authors of the Coast Guard Auxiliary report note life jackets personal flotation devices are are responsible for saving more lives among boaters than any other devices.

Indeed, the authors of the report believe that since the drop in fatalities per 100,000 registered boats seems to have leveled, it may be time for a new approach, the multi-level approach mentioned. Their hierarchy is:


The avoidance piece is help boaters to avoid unsafe practices. It's quite obvious those practices are:

AlcoholOverloadingUsing unfamiliar equipmentAssuring that everyone in the craft has a life jacket on (only nine percent of those who don't wear life jackets drowned, the authors note)

The mitigation piece the third element is:

Encouraging life jacket use'Mandate life jacket use by anyone in a craft

The authors also suggested that, like driver's education, perhaps a period of boater's education should be encouraged so that boaters become better trained and more familiar with the r craft and their avocation.

Indeed, the authors noted that when a similar course was instituted quickly, the results were entirely worthwhile as the number of drownings and and other mishaps dropped. So, it is something to think about.