Safe Boating Saves Lives!
There were 9 drownings related to boating accidents in California State Parks during calendar year 2004. Most boating related fatalities can be prevented by taking a safe boating course, following simple safety precautions, and ensuring that everyone aboard has a suitable well fitting lifejacket.
- Carry life preservers — a vessel must carry at least one proper-fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person on board. Remember that state law requires children under age 12 to wear a life jacket while the vessel is underway unless the child is in an enclosed cabin. For everyone’s safety, all boaters should wear a personal flotation device when on the water.
- Check your safety equipment – Fire extinguisher? Anchor? Signal devices? Radio and/or cell phone? Life jackets? Know BEFORE you GO!
- Don’t drink and operate a boat — Alcohol and water recreation don’t mix! It is against the law and dangerous to operate a boat while intoxicated. Intoxicated passengers also risk falling overboard and drowning.
- Inhaling carbon monoxide can be deadly — State law prohibits the dangerous practice of teak surfing, platform dragging, or bodysurfing behind a boat. Anyone near the boat’s engine or generator exhaust is exposed to carbon monoxide, which can cause them to lose consciousness and drown.
- Watch your speed and direction — The speed limit is 5 mph, or less, within 200 feet of a swimming beach or boat dock, or within 100 feet of a swimmer. Follow all posted signs and marked buoys for speed and direction when operating your vessel. SLOW IS PRO!