Death, injury persist in Hawaii boating accidents

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU – In 2013, boating accidents in Hawaii claimed the lives of four people and injured seven during 19 separate accidents. Hawaii had five deaths, six injuries and 28 accidents in 2012.

These numbers highlight the need for continued awareness of safety while on the water. The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the National Safe Boating Council are highlighting safe boating practices during National Safe Boating Week May 17 through May 23.

The boating public is strongly advised to take appropriate steps to ensure their vessels are safe and that they are prepared to operate those vessels. Mariners should:

  • Wear a life jacket. In 2013, 328 drownings occurred where individuals were not wearing life jackets.
  • Have and know how to use a VHF-FM radio. VHF radios are much more reliable than cellphones. Make sure you have a reliable means for contacting help in an emergency situation.
  • Carry signaling devices such as flares.
  • File a float plan so someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return. Information on a “float plan,” including templates, can be found on the Coast Guard’s boating safety website http://www.uscgboating.org/.

Throughout NSBW federal, state and volunteer agencies will offer safe boating classes, free vessel safety checks at local marinas and increased patrols throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

To find the location of the nearest Auxiliary flotilla and a schedule of safe boating classes, visit http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=140.

National Safe Boating Week is an annual observance sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, and endorsed and promoted by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Information on the NSBC can be found at http://www.safeboatingcouncil.org/.

A PDF of the most recent Recreational Boating Statistics can be found here.

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