July is peak season for vacation and summer activities and, therefore, the peak season for being aware of boating safety and statistics that go along with it. In 2016, for example, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Statistics, there were a total of 4,463 boating accidents in the United States; 701 of those resulted in deaths, and 2,903 resulted in injuries of some sort. More shocking is that 282 were alcohol-related boating accidents and 10 were drug related boating accidents. Additionally, there were 87 alcohol-related and nine drug-related boating accident deaths, as well as 264 alcohol-related and two drug-related boating accident injuries.
Some steps that will help to keep you safe while out on the water are to check your local weather before going out on the water, follow a precise pre-departure checklist so that you are always prepared for the unexpected, use common sense, stay alert, designate an “assistant skipper”. In addition to these, always have a float plan, always wear a life jacket, avoid alcohol, learn to swim, take a boating course, and consider a free vessel safety check. Keeping yourself, your friends, and your family safe while having a good time this summer is both important and an achievable goal.
The people of the Division of Community Services of Health Recovery Services are glad to be a part of the big picture of sharing healthy life choices along with drug and alcohol prevention within our community and county. They are available to come and speak with your school, club or organization and can be reached at their Gallia office at (740) 446-7010 ext 1116.
HRS is a proud part of the Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery Coalition and support the changes they are implementing in our community. Have a safe and healthy summer!