Saturday, July 25, 2015

Related imageHow can you survive summer safely? It is tough. There should be nothing finer than a nice boat ride on a summer’s day but the guys who own boats these days are usually idiots. Sure they made a lot of money this year and was able to buy the sea vessel but they usually didn’t have the time to really learn how to operate the thing safely and then they invite you on board. Tnanks? Should I be thankful for the invite or worried for my safety? Boating can actually be more dangerous than you think.  Many people at the helm are not trained enough and there is no regulations in effect for training before you drop a pile of money for ownership of one of these vessels of the sea.

Before you know it the show off will go to full speed within minutes and then accidents take place within a blink of an eye. The boat will lurch forward and toss people like leaves in a breeze. Then if you didn’t get thrown from the boat you find yourself with serious injuries from being tossed into fiberglass and steel at a high speed.  According to the Coast Guard last summer there were over 4,000 accidents on the water that resulted in 600 deaths. There were 2,700 injuries from recreational boating. So how do you avoid a boating disaster once you do in fact climb aboard?

Related imageThere is no driver’s license required for even speed boating. You can just go on line and answer a few questions and get a operator’s card. Beyond that there is no school or skill required to operate a speed boat. I think you need a lot of skill to be able to read the waves, judge your speed so you can get some height out of the water at a high speed but not to flip over from too much wind under the boat. That definitely takes experience and skill in order to survive fun of that kind on a boat.

You should always expect the unexpected. Put down the drink and put on a life jacket and use a fuel switch. Yes attach the key to your boat to your life jacket so that if you are thrown, you take the key with you and the boat shuts off. You don’t need a boat still running while you are not at the controls. A kill switch can save your life.  It is not unusual for some idiot to be flying at 130 miles per hour at sea in a speed boat. There is no speed limit on the open water. It takes a lot of concentration to operate the throttle and steer with little movement while traveling a football field every three seconds.  But what should you do if the boat does flip and takes on air or the steering is too erratic and you find yourself thrown into the water and suddenly no one is nearby to rescue you?

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People from survival schools say the first thing to do is to take your shoes off and tie them around your neck. It is hard to tread water with them on your feet and might act as a flotation device for a while. You may be there for a while so slow down, and have a calm heart rate and breathing. Take your pants off and use them as a flotation device. If you are too tired, do a dead man’s float with your face down in the water for strength and time. Some simple tips can mean the difference between your life and death this summer. I think maybe a house boat that doesn’t go anywhere might be the safest on the sea.  Sigh. Good luck.

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