Monday, May 30, 2005

Safety Increases Chances for survival on Water

Increase chances of survival on water this Memorial Day weekend By TIM TUCKER Special to The Sun May 27. 2005 6:01AM Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest boating/fishing times of the year and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are imploring outdoors lovers to stay alert, wear their life jackets, and don't drink while operating a boat. The agency says keeping these messages in mind can dramatically decrease your chances of getting into an accident - and increase your chances of survival if you do. "In 2003, Florida led the nation in boating deaths with 64 and last year we had 68. We hope to reverse that trend by alerting boaters to the biggest dangers," said Capt. Richard Moore, the FWC's boating law administrator. Collisions with vessels or fixed objects are the two leading types of accidents. Last year, they accounted for nearly half of the mishaps on Florida waterways. Moore said this reflects the importance of staying alert to everything going on around you. "One of the biggest misconceptions about boating accidents is that they are caused by extremely reckless behavior, but when you look at the numbers you see that it comes down to people not paying attention or making one careless move," he said. "We want people to go out and have fun, but also to understand the minute they lose focus something could happen." Alcohol and not wearing a PFD are the two biggest contributors to fatal accidents. In 2004, alcohol use was the primary cause of 21 percent of boating deaths. Almost one-third of the fatal accidents were classified as "falls overboard", drowning was the cause of death in 65 percent of those fatalities.

No comments: