With the warm weather arriving, Massachusetts residents will take to the waters and enjoy their activities. But the Massachusetts Environmental Police wants to remind boaters that boater and water safety are imperative when enjoying all that Massachusetts has to offer. In 2011, there were 67 boating accidents in Massachusetts alone. These accidents resulted in 10 fatalities.
The number one cause of death in boating accidents from 2011 was drowning. None of the victims in these accidents were wearing life jackets. Massachusetts law does not require boaters to wear jackets, but the MEP strongly recommends it. Each water craft is required to have enough life jackets on board for each passenger.
Other tips for maintaining safe boating:
- Never operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is against the law in the state of Massachusetts.
- Boaters are not allowed to operate a motorized boat within 150 feet of a swimming area.
- All boaters are encouraged to operate their boats at proper speeds, taking note of weather, water and traffic conditions.
- Those who are going to operate a motorized water craft should consider taking a boating safety course and must know and follow the laws of the water.
Summer on the water should be fun for all. And while Safe Boating Week has recently concluded, water lovers need to keep safety first in mind throughout the year. With proper guidance and strict regulations, boaters, jet skiers and swimmers will all be able to enjoy the Massachusetts waters together.
Source: The Marblehead Reporter, "State officials urge residents to follow safe boating practices," May 19, 2012