Top Ten Recreational Boating Safety Tips
ACE’s Top Ten Recreational Boating Safety Tips
1. Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the same. Approximately 70 percent
of all fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2007.(1) Ninety percent of those who drowned were not wearing a personal
flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. Always have an adequate supply of personal flotation devices aboard. Make sure that
children are wearing appropriate life jackets that fit correctly. Drowning was the reported cause of death for approximately
50 percent of the children who perished in boating accidents in 2007. Overall, fatal accident data suggests that more than
380 lives could have been saved if boaters had worn their life jackets.
2. Never drink alcohol while boating. In 2007, alcohol was either a direct or indirect contributing factor in 30 percent
of all boating fatalities. Stay sharp on the water by leaving the alcohol on dry land.(1)
3. Take a boating safety course. More than 70 percent of all reported boating fatalities in 2007 occurred on
boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety course.(1) You may even qualify for a reduced insurance
rate if you complete a safety course. Contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron chapter(2) or visit
www.uscg.mil for more information on courses in your area.
4. Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your passengers. Boaters between the
ages of 36 and 55 accounted for the highest rate of the total boating fatalities in 2007.(1) Don’t forget that safety
begins with you.
5. Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational rules. Imagine the mayhem
that would result if car drivers disregarded highway traffic laws. Know and understand boating safety procedures and rules
of navigation before taking to the water, and practice them without fail.
6. Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a careful lookout. Overall, operator inattention,