Keep up with all things, outdoors, with Big Billy Kinder...
Its National Boating and Fishing week! That gives us all permission to buy that new down image/side image/sonar/big screen tv for the boat! It’ll make our boating experience safer honey…really! And it really does! All of the great technology that is available to any boat with a battery now is truly incredible and makes our time on the water absolutely safer. You can plot a safe chart to a great point or brush pile without dropping the lower unit of the boat on that hidden hump of rock or just beneath the surface bois d’arc tree. If in trouble, you have exact gps coordinates to relay to rescuers. There is even software available on fish finders that displays an aerial photo of the lake and marinas, channels and boat ramps ahead of you. New water becomes more familiar before you even motor on to it. There is software that helps avoid collisions with other vessels. Kinda like a radar for area boat traffic.
Even with all of the latest and greatest, the lakes are still dangerous for the unprepared and inebriated. The 3 basic rules of safe boating still apply.
1) Take a boater safety course, no matter how long you have been captain of your ship. A brush up on the lap top might make you say “oh yeah” a time or two. Only 12% of the people that died in recreational boating accidents last year did so on vessel’s where the operator had earned a nationally approved boating safety education certificate.
2) Wear it. Life preservers have become smaller, sleeker, less cumbersome and a whole lot more comfortable over the past few years. Invest in something that you can live with wearing all day, and after the unthinkable happens, you’ll more than likely live to tell about it. 78% of boating fatalities are drownings. 84% of those drownings were not wearing a life vest.
3) Don’t drink before or during your outing. You need you reflexes, judgement, alertness and coordination while on the water. The fines from a boating while intoxicated could have bought a nice upgrade in your on the water transportation too. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. It is the leading factor in nearly one fourth of recreational boating deaths.
Data used is from the U.S. Coast Guard, released May 13, 2015.
So use safe boating and fishing week as your excuse to upgrade the fish finder and go fishing…with your iced tea…and vest…and certificate! See ya on the water!
June 6, 2015