New York State has hundreds of lakes and rivers as well as many miles of ocean coastline, making it a great location for summer fun. However, these great natural resources can also be dangerous. According to an editorial in the Poughkeepsie Journal, people in the area have gotten the message about not drinking and driving. The same is not true of boat operators. There have been far too many stories recently about people who suffered serious injury or death in boating accidents because someone was operating a boat while under the influence.
It turns out that boating accidents happen for the same reason as car accidents. In addition to being caused by drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, statistics show that boat accidents occur because of driver inattention, excessive speed and simple carelessness.
A recent accident killed a bride-to-be and her fiancées best man underneath the Tappan Zee Bridge on the Hudson River. A similar incident a few years ago left four people dead and two seriously injured when their boat rammed a concrete abutment in the Hudson River near Tivoli. In both instances, some of the passengers were not wearing life jackets.
The Poughkeepsie Journal writer urges readers to familiarize themselves with the safety features on every boat they board. They should always wear life jackets, know where any life-saving devices are stored, and find out the location of any safety devices such as flares and lights. Most important, they should insist on a sober driver.