Beating the Heat
Short of traveling North to visit a snowy mountain, there is no better way to beat the summer heat than by going to the nearest large body of water. Spending time with family and friends on a boat working on your tan seems like a great vacation idea. So how popular is recreational boating in the United States?
In 2012, approximately 87.8 million people participated in recreational boating at least once. That’s 37.8% of the population! As of 2015, there are 11.87 million boating vessels registered in the U.S. Recreational boating is so popular that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced in 2013 that the industry has an economic value of $121.5 billion! No wonder people jokingly say that the word “boat” stands for Bust Out Another Thousand.
From fishing on a quiet lake at the break of dawn, cursing the waves on the family speed boat, or just floating in open sea while having a picnic, recreational boating seems like a lot of fun. However, where there is fun danger is often lurking in the shadows of opportunity.
In 2015, there were 4,158 recreational boating accidents reported by the Coast Guard. Of those accidents, there were 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries with an estimated $42 million dollars in damages. The American Boating Association (ABA) published their fatality facts for 2015.
Of the 626 accidents that resulted in deaths, 76% of the boating accident victims drowned. Of that percentage, 85% were not wearing their life jacket. What is even more alarming is that 71% of deaths happened on a boat that was being operated by someone who had not received a nationally-approved boating safety educational certificate. Compared to only 15% of deaths that happened with certified boat operators.
Boating safety certification teaches boat operators: navigation rules, water sports safety and everything needed to keep passengers safe during boating.
In the state of Texas, operators are required to have a Texas Boater Education Certificate as proof that they have the knowledge and approved safety courses to go boating. Texas Parks and Wildlife broke down the requirements for boater education. Those who must take the course are:
- Anyone born on/after September 1, 1993.
- Anyone who plans to operate a vessel with over 15 horsepower.
- Anyone who plans to operate a wind-blown vessel over 14 feet in length.
- Operators of any and all personal watercraft.
The basic course starts at $20 and it does not expire and does not need to be renewed.
Knowledge is Power
Operating a boat may be different than driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle, but the risk is the same. Knowledge in power when it comes to safety using these machines. Whether it’s for recreational or commuting. Having the confidence that comes with training is the best way to improve safety for yourself and those along for the ride.
Jeff is here 4 You!
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, Jeff is here for you! Davis Law Firm is here for you 24/7 to listen to your case. Our team of legal representatives offer free consultation, so there is no risk in calling. Don’t suffer another day and contact us today.