PORTSMOUTH, VA (WWAY) — Boaters and swimmers took to the water this Memorial Day weekend, and as the summer boating season kicked into gear, Coast Guard units from New Jersey to North Carolina responded to many maritime emergencies.
On May 25, 26 and 27, units across the Mid-Atlantic conducted 49 search and rescue cases, saved 64 lives and $738,050 in property.
“If there is one thing the cases over this weekend underlined, it’s the necessity of getting your vessel safety examination done before you take your boat out on the water,” said Michelle Thornton, commodore of the Coast Guard’s 5th District Southern Auxiliary Region. “Vessel examinations can help identify issues that could become a problem in the future, so you can correct them before they put you in a potentially life-threatening situation.”
From the 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics:
- Where cause of death was known, 76 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drownings with reported life jacket usage, 84.5 percent of those victims were not wearing life jackets.
- Where vessel operator instruction was known, 81 percent of recreational boating deaths happened with an operator who had no boating operator instruction.
- Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of all recreational boating fatalities.