[OSMB-News] News Release -New Years Resolutions for Boaters
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Tue Dec 30 13:17:55 PST 2008
For Immediate Release Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
New Years Resolutions for Boaters
The Oregon State Marine Board suggests New Years Resolutions for boaters that don't involve any sort of dieting, and are short-term goals with immediate results for Oregon's waterways.
Resolution #1 -Don't Drink and Boat
In November of 2008, a Washington boat operator was convicted of killing three people -two of whom were children, after overturning his boat in the Nisqually River. The boater had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.19 percent at the time of the accident, over twice the legal limit. "Operating a boat takes attention and skill. Driving a boat can be more challenging than driving a car," says Ashley Massey, Public Affairs Specialist for the Marine Board. "Conditions on the water are constantly changing, and with good weather, there's usually congestion too, which requires a lot of attention. When people consume alcohol or other drugs, they often feel "safe to drive," but it's actually the substance playing tricks on their mind. The first area impaired by alcohol is a person's judgment, and this is where they make the mistake in the first place of getting behind the wheel of a boat. This year, resolve to not drink and boat, and don't allow your passengers to drink alcohol either." Massey adds. "Impaired passengers are more likely to end up in the water by falling overboard."
Resolution #2 - Wear Your Life Jacket
Not only was the Washington boat operator impaired by alcohol, no one on board was wearing a life jacket. The two children thrown into the water drowned, but would likely have survived if they'd been wearing life jackets. In Oregon, 90 percent of recreational boating fatality victims were not wearing life jackets. "Life jackets are the single most important piece of equipment a boater can have. Emergencies happen so quickly, that life jackets really need to be worn when you're out in a boat," says Massey. Resolve to wear a properly fitting life jacket for everyone on board, and designed for the appropriate boating activity.
Resolution #3 -Clean Your Boat
Oregon is special to the people who live here because of the clear water, the lush greenery and the abundant wildlife. "More boaters than ever are washing their boats between uses," says Massey. Oregon has several invasive species that are being spread to new waterways each year by canoes, rafts, drift boats, fishing boats and even sea-going boats. Eurasian watermilfoil, New Zealand mud snails, and other non-native species can cripple your favorite fishing area, or at the very least, clog your engine and do serious mechanical damage. Therefore, the Marine Board recommends that boaters remove all vegetation and mud from inside and outside the boat, trailer, motor, fishing gear, waders and other equipment before launching in a new waterway. Even a garden hose is effective at removing most vegetation. If your boat is used in waterways infested with zebra or quagga mussels (not currently found in Oregon), then your boat must be carefully washed and flushed with hot water (140 degrees plus), and allowed to dry for 10-30 days depending on weather conditions. The Marine Board recommends against salt-water boaters flushing their motors in fresh-water lakes because this likely is spreading New Zealand mud snails to freshwater bodies throughout the Oregon Coast. The best location to wash your boat is at a commercial car wash or on a lawn or other permeable surface away from storm drains, ditches or other waterways. Resolve to never launch a dirty boat.
For more information about boating in Oregon, visit www.boatoregon.com.
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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