Water Safety Programs

Boaters! Before Getting Underway, Follow These Precautions!

  • Take a boating safety course.

  • Put on your life jacket and leave your alcohol behind.

  • Check the weather forecast.

  • File a float plan with a friend.

  • Check your boat for all required safety equipment.

  • Check your electrical system and fuel system for gas.

  • Follow manufacturers suggested procedures before starting up.

  • Carry a navigation chart and know your waterway.

  • Follow the navigation rules of roads, buoys and other Aids to navigation.

  • Be a safe boater, Always post a sharp look-out.


Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in water and since most people drown within 10 - 30 feet of safety, it is important that you and your family learn to swim.

Please remember:

  • Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.

  • Don't take any chances by overestimating your swimming skills.

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.

  • Never swim alone.


Each year, approximately 6,000 people drown in the United States. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for persons 15-44 years of age.

What is really surprising is that two-thirds of the people who drown never had any intention of being in the water.

This page contains important information on water safety! Please take the time to read it. Don't become one of the 6,000 drowning victims this year!


Never dive into lakes and rivers. Every year in diving accidents more than 8,000 people suffer paralyzing spinal cord injuries and another 5,000 die before they reach the hospital!


Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, accidents which leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems.

Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. So please watch your children at all times.


It's a fact, alcohol and water don't mix. Unfortunately many people ignore this and each year about 3,000 of them are wrong...dead wrong! More than half of all the people that drown had consumed alcohol prior to their accident.

Being intoxicated is not necessary for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgment, and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.

Research shows that four hours of boating, exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind produces fatigue which makes you act as if you wApril 18, 2007 with this boating fatigue condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk!

So remember, don't drink alcohol if you are planning to have fun in or on the water!


Your life may depend on a better understanding of cold water. Many suspecting drowning victims actually die from cold exposure or hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may give away to confusion and a loss of body movement.

To avoid hypothermia:

  • Dress warmly with wool clothing.

  • Wear rain gear and stay dry.

  • Seek a warm environment at the first sign (mild shivering) of hypothermia.

If you fall in the water:

  • Don't discard clothing.

  • While wearing your life jacket, draw your knees and arms together into the HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) posture.


  1. Not wearing life jacket

  2. Abuse of alcohol

  3. Lack of sufficient swimming skills

  4. Hypothermia


National Water Safety Congress National Safe Boating Council Bobber the Water Safety Dog US Coast Guard Boating SafetyUS Coast Guard Auxiliary


This site last updated on April 18, 2007