The Washington State Parks Boating Program has revealed that in the last 30 days, 25 recreational boating accidents and five fatalities have occurred across the state.
According to Washington’s recreational boating accident data, “in the last five years, trends show most accidents and fatalities happen between May and August.” 75% of the fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket.
“We are asking all boat and paddlecraft owners and operators to help reduce fatalities and injuries on the water,” said Rob Sendak, Boating Programs Manager at the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, in a press release. “Boaters need to take personal responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of their passengers.”
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According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, “as of May, boat sales are the highest they’ve been in a decade. Boat rentals have increased, too.”
Those thinking about renting or purchasing a boat are being urged to review the Washington State Boating Program, including the following:
- Getting educated and knowing navigational rules, emergency procedures, and basics of safety on the water. Learn more at BoaterEd.org.
- Share a float plan with a family member or friend with the details of your trip in the event of an emergency. Learn more.
- Always wear a life jacket that is properly fitted and U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Learn more at WearItWashington.org.
- Carry all required safety equipment such as flares, navigation light, a horn or whistle, and a first aid kit. Learn more at BoatPrepared.org.
- Stay sober and alert. Learn more at BoatSober.org.
- Follow state and local public health guidelines for outdoor recreation. Be adaptable and flexible to rapidly changing situations. Learn more.
- Be patient at boat launches and other water access sites. If you find the parking lot is full, find somewhere else to go or return home. Learn more at RecreateResponsibly.org.