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Boating Safety Tips for Summer

Have fun and be safe this summer on the Hudson River, Long Island Sound or the many lakes in Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Rutberg Basso for sending Patch this article.

With National Safe Boating Week May 19 – 25, avid boater and angler Marty Rutberg of Rutberg Basso Personal Injury Law says that in the cases he handles, he has too often seen the toll caused by careless boating: accidents and fatalities.  

“Unsafe boating can ruin and end lives and cause major property damage,” Rutberg said.  “Surprisingly, operating vessels under the influence of alcohol, while a major factor, is just the tip of the iceberg.  Boating safety education is the most important thing people can do to prevent boating accidents and death.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation 2010 Recreation Boating Report statistics reflect national trends.   
•    New York State is a leader in registered vessels, nearly 480,000.  
•    In Dutchess County alone, out of 7,431 registered vessels, 6,819 are 25 feet long and under – boats the most prone to accidents and fatalities.   
•    Collision between two or more boats remains the most common type of boating accident resulting in the most injuries.
•    Accident rates spike on weekends between noon and midnight, especially in June, July and August. 
•    Boating education (Red Cross, State and US Power Squadron/ USCG Auxiliary courses) of the operator resulted in significantly fewer deaths and injuries.
•    Youth and inexperience are not necessarily a factor in boating accidents:  Boaters ages 41 – 60 are also at higher risk.     

Said Rutberg, “We encourage all boat operators to take boating safety classes, either as a refresher course or for the first time – and use this knowledge for safer boating practices.  Education is the most important factor in keeping families safe and happy as they take to the water this summer.”  

For more information or to find a boating safety course near you, visit http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/safety-courses.aspx

US Coast Guard’s  2010 Recreational Boating Study counted 672 deaths nationwide, 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million dollars in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents.  Learn how to avoid becoming a statistic:  http://www.uscgboating.org/

For more information visit RutbergBasso.com.

Dan Thaler May 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM
As a kayaker I must plead..please don't run us over..even the stupid ones. To all the yakkers out there, many goods tips are to be found here... http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages/expertcenter/safety-skills/Safety-Skills-4.shtml
Don Pachner May 30, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Thank you for posting, Dan...excellent article. One item not mentioned in the article or the kayaker rules of the road piece: ALWAYS WEAR A PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE WHEN OUT ON THE WATER! I am a specialty insurance broker that insures outdoor recreation activities all over the U.S. and use of PFDs is an important lifesaving precaution that is easy to request of all boaters. The tangential advice about alcohol in the Patch article is important...do not imbibe alcohol prior to or when boating. Save it for your after hours parties. While it may not be the cause of most accidents, it is a major contributing cause of many serious accidents. Also, make sure you have learned necessary nautical skills and how to handle your craft in an emergency. Don't be afraid to take a course in this if you are unsure of how to handle your boat in an emergency.
Staph June 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM
An excellent article. Also don't forget to protect yourself from staph infections. Check out this article... http://www.staph-infection-resources.com/staph-mrsa-treatment/summer-safety-tips/

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