Summer is almost here and Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. Within the next few weeks, you’ll notice an increase of boats on Indiana Lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Whether you’re relaxing on a pontoon, skiing being a speedboat or fishing from your bass boat, be prepared and aware of potential risks while on the water.
The most serious–and most common– boating offense is boating while intoxicated (sometimes referred to as “BWI”). The drunk driver of the waterways is a threat to himself or herself, passengers and to everyone in or around the water. Boating while intoxicated is both a state and federal offense.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Boating Association, boating while intoxicated is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that there were 4,730 recreational boating accidents in the U.S. and its territories, in which 736 lives were lost. Alcohol is involved in approximately 50% of all motorboat-related fatalities. Almost 75% of the fatal accident victims drowned, and of these, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.
We encourage you to be responsible and aware of potential risks while enjoying the summer rays on the water. If you would like additional information on Indiana boating laws, please visit the Indiana Natural Resources Commission’s website.
Source: American Boating Association
Wilson Kehoe Winingham brings you this information with best regards for you and your family’s safety.
Bruce Kehoe Bill Winingham