Boating, hands down can be a wonderful source of relaxation, adventure, a very enjoyable pass time and a wonderful experience. But sadly it is also the root cause of some dangerous situations, which often leads to some grave injuries or fatal accidents. Being aware of the common causes of such misfortune will caution you from repeating the same mistakes and enjoy your much loved recreational activity without risking your lives.
Most boating accidents are results of the drivers steering the boat under the influence of some drug or alcohol. Being intoxicated impairs one's judgment, clarity, reaction time, which can lead to an accident. What could possibly be wrong in indulging while on a pleasure boat? Overindulgence can however prove to be dangerous and risky as it can have an effect on their boating abilities. Boating under the influence (BUI) is considered an offence in most countries and there are severe penalties are imposed.
Severe abrupt weather conditions have also been a common cause behind boating accidents. Storms and high seas are the worse enemies of boaters. Many sailors experience difficulty in navigating the vessel properly, avoiding collisions, keeping the boat afloat and upright under hazardous weather conditions and this leads to capsize of the vessel and the boater's life may be put in danger without any fault of his own. Ideally therefore one must be absolutely aware of the weather conditions before heading out in the water.
Recklessness is sadly another reason behind boating accidents. Boaters often get carried away by the thrill of speeding in the waters and showing off their skills of making a sharp turn, or doing tricks, jumping out of the boat while it is still in motion has lead to boating accidents often. Inexperience of boaters has featured as one of the causes behind such accidents. It is advisable to take the first few trips on the boat with an experienced boater aboard.
It is always not the boater's fault that leads to an accident. The boat itself can be faulty to begin with. It is therefore absolutely crucial for the boat to go under a properboat test before taking it out in the water. The engine may cease to function or the hull might give way and the results could be disastrous. Before taking your boat for a trip or a ride, inspect for any damage or malfunction. Maintaining the boat will also ensure that it is in a good condition.
Passenger recklessness, operator inexperience, drowning after a boat capsizing, drowning due to not wearing a life vest, severe trauma, overloading falling overboard, collisions with fixed objects such as docks, piers and buoys, collision with other boats and vessels are also reasons behind several watercraft accidents. Some of us those who are lucky enough survive by God's grace and the not-so-lucky- ones succumb to the injuries or in the hands of fate after a terrible boating accident.
We all love boating so much we would rather take a day off and go out in the water. But let us keep this pleasurable activity a pleasure and not a cause of a painful experience. As a responsible citizen we must abide by all the boating safety rules and regulations though at the back of our mind's we know there are the always-ready-to-save-us Coast Guards.
Allan Simons is Australian boating enthusiast and also an accomplished writer on various boating articles.