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.