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4 Most Common Boating Accidents and How to Prevent Them

It’s summer and everyone loves to get out on the water and enjoy the sun. However, it’s surprisingly easy how quickly a day of fun and frolic can turn into a serious hazard. Take care to observe these top four boating accidents and how to avoid them.
The single greatest cause of all boating accidents is simply operator error. Obviously this encompasses a wide variety of specific activities and or circumstances that lead to accidents, however, the four following types are the most common.
1. Reckless Driving: What is reckless driving on the water exactly? Becoming airborne or completely leaving the water near another vessel. Also, wake jumping or weaving through heavy traffic. Going faster than slow/no wake speed within 100 feet of an anchored or moored vessel and or any person in the water. Ways to prevent: Pay attention at all times and know your area. Of course there is nothing wrong with a little speed on the water, however, any time other vessels are near, typically within 100 feet, or any person is in the water, it is imperative to drive exceedingly slow, no more than 5 mph.
2. Excessive Speed: With more and more powerful vessels boats can now easily reach speeds of over 70 mph. The sheer force of traveling at such high speeds on the open water becomes immediately problematic should anything go wrong. Striking another person or vessel at such speeds can be catastrophic as can an overturned vessel. Ways to prevent: Again always be attentive and simply never travel faster than is prudent. When in doubt of how fast exactly to go, always go a little slower.
3. Driver Inexperience: Having no or very little experience behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. Performing basic maneuvers is simple and thus can be misleading. A wide variety of errors can occur since often split second timing is necessary to prevent many boating accidents, such as collisions. Ways to prevent: Minimum operator age ranges from 12-18 years so it’s almost never too early to start training. Simply put, be sure to train and practice.
4. Alcohol Consumption: Being drunk and behind the wheel on the water was the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths in fatal water accidents according to CNN.
A few beers here and there is fine for most people, but when taking control of a vessel , never underestimate the potential for hazard. It is quintessential to remain sober at any and all times when operating any water borne vessel. Doing so can literally save your life.

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