When it comes to outdoor recreation, few places compare to the beauty of Oregon.
But every year, what starts out as a day of boating fun, turns into tragedy because people throw caution to the wind in an effort to be spontaneous and have fun.
Nineteen people lost their lives in 2012 in recreational boating accidents.
In fact, nearly 75 percent of the victims would have survived had they worn a life jacket.
Another contributing factor is alcohol…which removes inhibitions and impairs a person’s judgment.
Alcohol is a major factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of nationwide boating-related deaths, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, a story about boating safety will give your audience the reminder they need to ensure a fun, yet safe outing. Potential story angles might be:
- The effects of alcohol are intensified on the water when combined with sun glare, wind, wave action and motion of the boat. Did you know one drink on the water has roughly the same ‘perceived” effect as three on land?
- Various types of personal flotation devices (PFDs). What kind does a person wear for white water rafting vs. ocean fishing? How do you know if a life jacket fits properly?
- Drunken passengers are at higher risk for accident or injury –many people who fall overboard (leading cause of drowning) are impaired passengers.
- The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit Program (AISP) and law prohibiting a boat from launching when infested with invasive species. How much does the permit cost for paddle craft and motorized craft? What about out-of-state boaters? What’s being done to prevent their spread or introduction into the state?