5 Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Drownings

Drownings in public waterways in Indiana have increased to a whopping 34 people in 2019 so far, according to Fox 59 and the boat safety blog imageDNR.  The total number of drownings (not including private swimming pools) in 2018 was 53.  That number is also expected to be exceeded this year.  Out of those 53 that drowned 0 were wearing life jackets.  We, as boaters, need to start setting the example of water safety by adhering to the rules, being prepared, and having the right tools.  Here are 5 tips to help keep yourself, your friends & family, and the general public safer;
  1. Rule of thumb is to always have 1 more life jacket than the number of people on your boat.  Additionally, be sure to have others try on the life jackets and ensure that they fit and the wearer knows how to properly use them. (Children should wear them at all times on a boat as well as adults who cannot swim well)
  2. Don’t cram people onto your boat.  We know the saying “the more the merrier” but that simply does not apply to boating.  Overloading with passengers can unbalance your boat and create distraction or hindrance for the driver.  Always follow your boat’s capacity restriction.
  3. Be prepared onboard.  Always have (in addition to lifejackets): a flashlight, a waterproof whistle, accessible ropes, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.
  4. AVOID alcohol if you are the designated boat driver.  Many accidents and drownings that occur are tied to alcohol use/abuse.  Please ensure that all passengers keep their intake to a minimum as well.  
  5. Learn CPR.  There are CPR courses offered at many local fire stations, hospitals, and libraries around the country.  Knowing how to properly perform CPR can mean life or death for those around you.