Last year, there were nearly 5,500 boating accidents that resulted in more than 550 deaths and 2,600 injuries. Most people look at this statistic and think, ‘It will never happen to me.’ However, most of these accidents involved experienced boaters. It is important to plan for the unforeseeable. What do you really need on my boat? What do you do if you are in need of assistance?
In 2013, drowning was the number one cause of death on the water. 82 percent of those victims did not have one crucial item – a life jacket. Below, we share the story of one man who encourages all boaters to take necessary safety precautions. He thought this encouragement would one day save a life on the water – but never thought it would be his own.
July 16 marked the 100th anniversary of the traveling inspection staff, originally created under the Steamboat Inspection Service. These travelers are highly experienced marine inspectors and investigators that help to measure the effectiveness of existing programs and policies.
With the Fourth of July holiday and warm weather upon us, the beach is a popular destination for both tourists and residents of coastal communities. However, in the midst of hurricane season, it could also become one of the most dangerous destinations. With the first named hurricane of the season, Arthur, making it’s way up the Atlantic Coast, make sure you stay up to date on the latest local weather updates as the holiday weekend progresses.
All across the United States, there are beaches notorious for strong rip currents and other hazardous swimming conditions. Down in central Texas, one place in particular provides a constant and dangerous challenge for the area rescue services – San Luis Pass. Coast Guard crews from Air Station Houston recently conducted rescue training in the area to acclimate themselves to the treacherous conditions presented by San Luis Pass and to bring public awareness to the hazards of the area. For the crews, it was an eye-opening experience.
This weekend marked the beginning of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts we’re in for a near-normal or below-normal hurricane season this year. As the season prepares, Greg Mason, a civilian employee was interviewed about his experience before, during and after a storm.
Say the word hoax out loud. It sounds similar to the noise you might make if something was stuck in your throat. Just like something stuck in your throat, hoaxes are obstructions to the life-saving work that the Coast Guard does. Hoaxes waste vital search and rescue resources and unnecessarily put the men and women who selflessly serve as first responders at risk.
With satellite-fed maps on every smart phone, getting lost seems like a problem of a past era. But what happens when your electronics short out, your boat starts taking on water or catches on fire and you have to abandon ship? Now you’re lost because your cell phone is an expensive brick because it just hit the water, and your GPS and radio are under water.
If you’re headed out on the water, it is important to educate yourself on the proper usage of your equipment and more importantly know how to operate your boat safely. How important? It could make the difference between life and death.
Paddle sports continue to be the fastest growing segment of recreational boating, with more than 300,000 paddle craft, primarily kayaks, being sold annually. However, paddle sports present unique dangers. Paddlers are more exposed than boaters to the elements. Eight of every 10 boaters who drowned in 2013 were using boats less than 21 feet in length, a sobering statistic that shows the vulnerability of small craft, including paddle craft.