Boating Safety – Under The Influence

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,415
    Chris Edmonston with the BoatUS Foundation discusses safe boating including the safety concerns with boating under the influence.

    Chris Edmonston: Hi! I am Chris Edmonston with the BoatUS Foundation, talking today about boating safety. Let's take a few minutes and talk about boating under the influence.

    You're probably well aware of the reasons why you don't want to drink and drive a car. But driving a boat is different, right? You might even think that driving a boat is safer than driving a car if you're having a drink or two. But the reality is boating has many stresses that you just don't get behind the wheel of a car. Bouncing around the waves all day can affect your balance and coordination. The southern wind can also dehydrate you.

    Combining all these things can make you feel even a little tipsy. Save the alcohol from when you are docked or anchored and won't be going anywhere. And if you find yourself having to leave, let's someone else do the driving. Alcohol can turn an otherwise great day into a tragedy of a lifetime.

    Here are some alternatives to alcohol when you're going out on the water. Take along of variety of cool drinks such as soda, water, ice tea, lemonade, or even nonalcoholic beer. Bring plenty of food and snacks. Having no alcohol aboard is the safest way to enjoy the water. If you dock somewhere for lunch or dinner and drink alcohol with your meal, wait a reasonable time, estimated at a minimum of an hour per drink before operating your boat.

    So I've told you that drinking on the water is different than drinking on the land. But why is that? Well, here are some things you might not have known about drinking on the water. Alcohol has many physical effects that directly threaten safety and well-being on the water. You might have balance problems, lack of coordination, or increased reaction time. Your inner ear might also be disturbed.

    And this can make it impossible for a person who falls into the water to distinguish up from down. Hey! There is Federal laws, state laws, and local laws, all prohibiting operating under the influence. In fact, in several states operating under the influence can even impact your ability to drive your car. Hey! Boating is a sport, leave the alcohol at home.

    Now for our next topic, let's talk about Homeland security.