Fatal Boating Accident Highlights Importance of Safety Precautions

Posted on: August 13th, 2012 by peak

To many Wisconsinites, summer means heading up north for the weekend to enjoy the sunshine and the water of the state’s many parks. But summer fun can sometimes take a tragic turn, as in the case of a fatal boating accident on the water of Bay Shore Park earlier this month.

According to witnesses, a man’s boat began taking on water Friday evening. Authorities responded promptly to emergency calls but it was too late. The Department of Natural Resources brought his body to shore shortly before the Coast Guard retrieved his empty boat. Apparently the man fell into the water after his boat began taking it on. Officials do not believe the death was suspicious.

Preventing Serious Boating Mishaps in Wisconsin

Experienced boaters hitting the lakes for small outings with their families may think they’re immune from this kind of disaster. However, according to the DNR most of the state’s boating fatalities occur in small boats. Dangerous habits like boating without life jackets or while under the influence of alcohol can compound this risk.

A few simple safety measures can help ensure that you and your passengers have a safe, enjoyable voyage this summer.

  • Make sure everyone on board has a life jacket — and uses it. Remember: by the time you need a life jacket you’ll wish you already had it on.
  • Appoint a designated operator if you plan to bring alcohol aboard. A weekend of partying isn’t worth a night in jail or a serious injury.
  • Take a boating safety course, even if you’re an experienced boater. It can greatly reduce the risk of operator error, which causes more than 70 percent of boating incidents nationwide.
  • Get a Vessel Safety Check for even more peace of mind. These checks are offered at no cost to boaters by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron.

It may seem like a drag to worry about safety when you’re packing up for a weekend on the water but taking some precautions pays off. You’ll enjoy the summer even more with confidence that you and your passengers are safe.

Source: Fox 11, “Man IDed in Bay Shore Park accident,” July 16, 2012

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