The U.S. Coast Guard recently released the 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics, and the new figures show the largest decrease in the number of alcohol-related recreational boater deaths in the past five years. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 31 percent decrease in the number of recreational boaters’ deaths where alcohol use was the known primary contributing factor.
As boating season continues this year, these improved boating under the influence (BUI) related statistics are encouraging to boating safety educators, professionals and marine law enforcement officials who work continuously year-round to educate boaters and instill in them the dangers and consequences of boating under the influence.
While the decrease in the number of deaths is a great step forward, boating under the influence continues to be a major problem in the United States. Over the past five years, alcohol use has remained the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.
To help draw public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs, in 2009, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, in partnership with the United States Coast Guard, launched Operation Dry Water—the nation’s boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign.
The mission of Operation Dry Water is to raise public awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of deaths on the water related to alcohol consumption. (www.operationdrywater.org)