Practice safe boating this Fourth of July

For additional boating safety tips, visit or

According to the National Safe Boating Council, it’s important to be a responsible boater and take necessary precautions this Fourth of July, the highest-boating traffic time of the summer.

The Safe Boating Campaign, a program of the National Safe Boating Council, reminds boaters of three essential tips to prevent a boating accident.

The following are three essential tips: always wear a life jacket, never boat under the influence and lastly, use an engine cut-off device.

According to the National Safe Boating Council, 76 percent of all boating fatalities are reported as drownings, and 84.5 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2017.

Not boating under the influence is another crucial aspect to consider.

“Boating under the influence is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater death,” said the National Safe Boating Council website.

Additionally, impairment can be even more dangerous for boaters than for drivers, since most boaters have less experience and confidence operating a boat than they do driving a car.

As stated on the website, an engine cut-off device to stop the boat’s engine is a proven safety device. In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 172 accidents in which a propeller struck at least one person.

For additional boating safety tips, visit or

The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

All statistics are from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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