Connecticut means thousands of people take to our beautiful waters in sailboats or powerboats to fish, water ski, jet ski, tube, or just enjoy themselves on board.
Last year there were 4,515 accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3,000 injuries and almost $40 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
Almost three-quarters of all fatal boating accident victims drowned and 88% were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Most notably, only nine percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
Inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol rank as the top five primary factors in accidents. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of the deaths. The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (20%), and cabin motorboats (14%).
In recent years, Connecticut has taken steps to make boating safer for everyone. Today you must be 16 years old and licensed to operate a boat. In addition, it is now illegal to drink alcohol and drive a boat while impaired. While these measures are well intentioned, the culture of boating is hard to change.
“We can help make our waters safer” says Andy Cummings of Old Greenwich and Educational Officer for the America’s Boating Club of Greenwich.
On March 11 at 2:00pm he and his team of expert instructors will give the basic boating course required for the CT Safe Boating Certificate. The class is held at Greenwich Police headquarters.
Price is $90 per person, or $140 for a couple sharing materials.
To register, go online to https://www.tinyurl.com/SBCMarch1123 or email [email protected]