[OSMB-News] News Release
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Thu May 4 13:37:49 PDT 2006
For Immediate Release Date: Thursday, May 4, 2006
Safe Boating Tips
Always wear your life jacket
According to national statistics, in 2004, of the nearly 500 drownings related to boating accidents, 90 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets. This means 431 lives could have been saved if the boaters had worn life jackets.
Know the rules of the waterway
Seventy percent of boating accidents are caused by operator errors, such as carelessness, recklessness, inexperience, excessive speed and lack of attention. Taking a safe boating course is an inexpensive, yet valuable way to become a safe boater.
In 2004 in Oregon, one third of boating fatalities involved alcohol. Alcohol's effects on judgment, vision, balance and coordination are amplified on the water, increasing the likelihood of boating accidents. Plus, boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII) is illegal in Oregon.
Get your boat checked
During a courtesy vessel safety check, examiners make sure the boat is properly equipped with the required number of fire extinguishers, lights, life jackets, sound producing devices and other equipment. The examiner makes recommendations and helps educate boaters about how to use the equipment in the event of an emergency. In Oregon, the U.S. Power Squadrons, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Marine Patrols all conduct these free vessel safety checks.
Be aware of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is lethal. The most common way to be exposed to CO gas is when a passenger hangs onto the rear of the boat or swimming platform to body surf - known as "teak surfing." Teak surfing can be deadly and is now illegal in the state of Oregon. Early symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, nausea, dizziness and irritated eyes. The onset of these symptoms is extremely fast, and "teak surfers" can sink into the water before anyone realizes what happened.
Boat sensibly and defensively
Always operate your boat at a safe speed and at a safe distance from the shore. Watch your wake because it can damage boats and docks and contributes to bank erosion. Keep a look out for other boaters - drive defensively.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
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