The Wildwood City Fire Department Promotes Boating Safety
An important safety message from Wildwood's finest Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III, CPM and Deputy Fire Chief Daniel M. Dunn, CPM
As the summer season begins many boaters take to our local waterways to enjoy a day on the boat with their family and friends, enjoy some water skiing or tubing, and the great recreational fishing opportunities in our area. However, boaters must remember to always keep safety at the forefront of their time on the water.
In 2018 the United States Coast Guard reported 4,145 boating accidents that resulted in 633 deaths, 2,511 injuries, and $46 million in damages to property. The top five accident types reported were collision with another recreational vessel, collision with a fixed object, flooding/swamping, grounding, and falls overboard. Life jackets are essential to safe boating. In 2018, 77% of the victims in fatal boating accidents drowned and 84% of those victims were not wearing a life jacket.
So before you head out on the water this summer please remember a few simple boating safety tips:
1. Wear a life jacket. Make sure the jacket is a proper fit for your size and weight.
2. Take a Boating Safety Course. These are offered locally through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
3. Have a free vessel safety check conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
4. Download the free U.S. Coast Guard App on your phone that provides several useful tools to boaters.
5. Review a pre-departure checklist and file a float plan with someone you trust before you leave.
6. Dress properly and bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. Wear sunscreen!
7. Stay hydrated and be aware for signs of heat illness.
8. Do not drink and drive a boat. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
9. Pay attention to the weather forecast. If bad weather is predicted stay safe on land. If you notice storm clouds develop, return to safety on land.
10. Use common sense. This is perhaps the most important tip as this can prevent many of the issues encountered while on the water.
The Wildwood City Fire Department wishes everyone a happy and more importantly safe summer season whether you are on the beach, boardwalk, at home, or out on a boat on our local waters. Enjoy everything that our island has to offer.