Thursday, May 27, 2010

Boat safety

Warm weather brings out all different types of boats. From personnel watercraft (PWC) to sailboats, John boats, canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats of every caliber.
That creates lots of boat traffic. Add water skis, tubes, divers in the water, or still fishermen, and the obstacles and chances for something to happen increase.
Yesterday, fishing the Saginaw River, we noticed several large power boats, the kind built for speed, go thundering by.
Many had more people aboard than the boat was probably rated for. On all of the boats, we saw evidence of alcohol consumption.
At times we thought we were in the middle of one of those TV series about police and party boats.
Girls were scantily dressed, beer in hand, and yelling at every boat they saw. In one boat there were nine guys and one girl.
You wonder how many life jackets are aboard in these situations. One pontoon boat came out of a marina with barely any freeboard. In other words, it was in danger of going under due to the number of people on it.
Power boaters aren't the only ones to blame for serious or often fatal accidents. Recently, in separate incidents, two kayaks were found empty, with the owners pfd in the boat.
Further searches resulted in finding their bodies. Come on people. There are warnings every year, classes taught, and stories written about the importance of safety on the water and wearing a pfd at all times.
There shouldn't be any excuse for not wearing one. Think of how many lives would be saved. A least two here in Michigan that I know of.
Have fun on the water but first, be safe.

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