Fatal vs Nonfatal Accidents Most fatal accidents are caused by persons falling overboard or the boat capsizing and the victims drowning because they are not wearing PFDs. Most non-fatal accidents are caused by collisions with other boats or objects in the water. Remember that the rules of the road require that a lookout be posted at all times. Make sure your lookout is doing his or her job. Why do accidents happen?
Boating Accidents <ul><li>Nearly all accidents are preventable. Boating fatalities are most often characterized by: </li></ul><ul><li>PFDs are on board but not in use. </li></ul><ul><li>Calm clear weather with light winds. </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement of small, open vessels with a fiberglass hull. </li></ul><ul><li>Age of the operator between 26 to 50 years old. </li></ul>
Boating Accidents (cont) Most fatal accidents are caused by persons falling overboard or the boat capsizing and the victims drowning because they are not wearing PFDs. If your boat capsizes, stay with the boat! Most non-fatal accidents are caused by collisions with other boats or objects in the water. Remember that the rules of the road require that a lookout be posted at all times. Make sure your lookout is doing his or her job. Why Do Accidents Happen? According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics alcohol use is ranked number one as a contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in the United States . There were 133 alcohol use related boating fatalities in 2006 (latest statistics available) this is more than double the second highest ranking contributing factor; hazardous waters which contributed to 63 boating fatalities. Operator inattention ranked third with 51 fatalities.
Even other Boats! Please watch where you are going!
Small Boat Hazards <ul><li>Capsizing - The majority of small pleasure boats, and all built after 1978, have floatation to keep them from sinking even if they capsize. If you should capsize it may be safer to stay with the floating boat than try to swim to shore. </li></ul><ul><li>Overloading slows a boat down and reduces the amount of freeboard (area above the waterline). A low freeboard increases the possibility of swamping the boat. </li></ul><ul><li>Improper weight distribution can make the boat even more unstable. You must locate persons and equipment in order to balance the boat and keep water out. </li></ul>
Falls Overboard <ul><li>Immediately throw a life saving device toward the person so they will have some assistance in keeping afloat. Your Type IV throwable flotation device should always be immediately accessible and within reach of the helm. </li></ul><ul><li>Slowly turn the boat and make a gentle turn keeping the person in view. </li></ul><ul><li>Approach the person slowly into the wind or current. </li></ul><ul><li>When the person is alongside turn off the engine. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust the weight to keep the boat trimmed and help the person aboard. Usually over the stern. </li></ul>
Assisting from Shore Talk to Them Every year people drown within a short distance of the shore. When some trauma happens, such as stepping off an underwater shelf the surprise itself can cause a drowning response. The victim, even if they can swim, suddenly can not shout for help and just splashes around in the water. Exhaustion can occur in a minute or less and the person then quits splashing and sinks. Should you find someone needing assistance from shore, remember the following: Reach Throw Row Go
Alcohol/Drugs Alcohol or drugs can decrease a person’s ability to handle a boat in many ways. As a depressant, alcohol goes straight to the nerves, blood stream, and the brain. As recreational boaters it is hard enough to remember all the rules, regulations, boat handling techniques, etc. while lucid. A few beers to quench the thirst in a rapidly dehydrating body and changes to a persons reactions and actions occur. <ul><li>Alcohol – Is it worth it? </li></ul><ul><li>Lose operating privileges for up to 2 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Arrest, jail time, and fines. </li></ul>
Accident Reporting You are required to stop, identify yourself, your boat, and give help as needed. Additionally, you are required to file an accident report with the Illinois or Iowa Conservation Police. If you are involved in a boating accident that includes any of the following you must report it. 1. Death 2. Injury 3. Property Damage of $2,000 or more.
Fire Triangle Fire aboard a boat can be terrifying. You may only have a moment to act. Fuel, Oxygen, and Heat are needed for fire to exist. Fires can be prevented!
Safe Fueling Procedures 1. Secure boat to the dock. 2. Switch off engine(s). 3. Do not use electrical switches. 4. No smoking. 5. Ports, hatches and doors closed. 6. Portable tanks should be refueled ashore . 7. Make certain all passengers are ashore. 8. Hold hose nozzle firmly against fill pipe opening. 9. Do not overfill. 10. Wipe up all spillage. 11. Open ports, hatches, and doors to ventilate. 12. Turn blower on for four minutes minimum. 13. Do the sniff test.
Using a Fire Extinguisher If underway and a fire starts, stop the boat and position it in such a manner that the fire is downwind. Order everyone to put on lifejackets . If possible try to turn off the fuel source to the fire. Grab the extinguishers and control the fire. Check the gauge on your fire extinguisher regularly to ensure that it is charged properly.
Hypothermia Signs 1. Mild Hypothermia - the person feels cold, has violent shivering and slurred speech. 2. Medium Hypothermia - the person has a certain loss of muscle control, drowsiness, incoherence, stupor, and exhaustion. 3. Severe Hypothermia - the person collapses, may be unconscious and shows signs of respiratory distress and/or cardiac arrest probably leading to death.
Hypothermia Chart Hypothermia Chart If the Water Temp. (F) is: Exhaustion or Unconsciousness Expected Time of Survival is: 32.5 Under 15 min. Under 15 - 45 min. 32.5 - 40 15 - 30 min. 30 - 90 min 40 - 50 30 - 60 min. 1 - 3 hours 50 - 60 1 - 2 hours 1 - 6 hours 60 - 70 2 - 7 hours 2 - 40 hours 70 - 80 3 - 12 hours 3 - Indefinite Over 80 Indefinite Indefinite