Because Alabama sits on the Gulf of Mexico and contains numerous bodies of water, water safety is one of the most emphasized issues in our state.

Our hearts go out to those affected by Tuesday’s unfortunate boating accident on the Black Warrior River. Unfortunately, it came just before we could release information from the National Safe Boating Council, which began a safety campaign just ahead of the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

It is said that Labor Day weekend is often considered the official end of summer, which means some choose to go out with a bang! Drinking while operating any type of motorized vehicle is considered risky behavior, and the National Safe Boating Council has issued the following tips in regards to operating machinery safely:

  • Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating
  • Check equipment. Make sure you have and know how to use all the essential equipment.
  • Make a float plan. Let family and friends know where you’re going and when you will return.
  • Use an engine cutoff device. An engine cutoff device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
  • Watch the weather.Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during your excursion.
  • Know what’s going on around you at all times. A quarter of all reported boatingaccidents in 2019 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
  • Know where you’re going and travel at safeFamiliarize yourself with local boating speed zones and always travel at a safe speed.
  • Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, EPIRB or personal locator beacon, and VHF radios can all be important devices in an emergency.
  • Remember social distancing. Stay 6-ft apart, wash hands frequently, and wear your mask until you’re out on the water away from others.

Each of these is important to not only insure your safety but also the safety of all passengers.

To learn more, click here.

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