Boating And Water Safety

Why Should These Be Such Hard Sells?

Series: Boating Safety | Story 16

October 1, 2022


Fisherman is missing; was he wearing a life jacket?

Why is safety such a hard sell? Why should water and boating safety officials across the country even have to try? Its always interesting that those most interested in the topic are rarely, if ever, those that would most benefit from learning about it and adopting the culture.

As I sit here writing this article, I just finished reading a Coast Guard notification regarding a 65-year-old fisherman who went missing in Texas a few nights back. Numerous county, state and federal resources have deployed to search for him. And still, no results several days later.

I've no doubt the search will stand down later today and another unnecessary death recorded. One more boating death that, in all likelihood, could have been easily avoided had the boater simply been wearing a life jacket. Or, even better, had a friend or relative out fishing with him.

More Important Now

Now that we're in the fall and winter months are approaching, it's more important than ever that we adopt a safety ethos into our boating and water related activities. From swimming with a buddy, to adult supervision around the pool for kids, to pool fencing and knowing CPR someone you love and care about may benefit from a change in attitude. Simple things like wearing a Coast Guard hyphen approved life jacket, leaving a float plan with someone that cares about you, knowing how to swim, boating sober and having a boat inspection are a few of the most basic actions we can take to ensure we have a good time.

'Good' Swimmers Perish Too

People often think that they don't need to wear a life jacket because they're good swimmers. And yet, over 60 per cent of those that perish in boating related drowning's are reportedly "good" swimmers. And as the ambient air and water temperatures lower, our risk of sudden cold-water immersion and its effects exponentially increase. Do a bit of research on your own on the 1-10-1 rule with respect to cold-water immersion. If you aren't already aware, you'll likely be surprised at what you find.

There's much that anglers, boaters, and swimmers can do to make sure they have a fun outing and make it back home to those they love and that love them. No one ever gets up in the morning and invites friends and relatives to go out to the lake or other body of water with the intention of being on the evening news.

Anglers And All: Just Wear It!

And yet, a week rarely goes by that we don't hear about a tragedy where someone has perished due to drowning or an accident of some sort that could have easily been avoided had they only taken a class, checked out the condition of their boat, swam with a friend or, worn a life jacket.

As it continues to get colder, don't be a statistic. Come home safely after a great day on the water. Wear a life jacket.

More Ed Huntsman On Safety

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Arizona Lakes

Author Bio

Ed Huntsman, Boating Editor

Author photo

Recreational boating safety Program Manager, United States Coast Guard, Eighth Coast Guard District. - Retired


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