Page 4 - Mid America Boating - September issue
P. 4

gy introduced by the marine industry in the
                                                                                                                       last 20 years which has made boating safer
                                                                                                                       and more enjoyable than ever. The list
     ]     4                                                                                                           includes comfortable auto-inflatable life
                                                                                                                       jackets, man-overboard alarms, personal
                                                                                                                       locator beacons, anti-collision radar, GPS
                                                                                                                       navigation and more.
     SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING
                                                                                                                         “We all love the freedom and family bond-
                                                                                                                       ing time boating provides,” said Emmons.
                                                                                                                       “But, without the right preparation and
                                                                                                                       equipment there are risks. The technology
                                                                                                                       introduced in the past 20 years has dramati-
                                                                                                                       cally reduced those risks while increasing the
                                                                                                                       fun factor on the water.”
                                                                                                                         One of the more recent developments is
                                                                                                                       the emergency cut-off switch (ECOS), which
                                                                                                                       automatically shuts off a boat’s engine if the
                                                                                                                       operator goes overboard. The device con-
                                                                                                                       nects a boat’s operator to the cutoff switch
                                                                                                                       with a lanyard or wireless proximity device.
                                                                                                                       As of April 1, 2021, federal law requires a ves-
                                                                                                                       sel operator to use ECOS on most new ves-
      Experts say boater education and new                                                                             sels less than 26 feet when underway, on
                                                                                                                       plane. ECOS also can be installed on boats
                                                                                                                       that do not have it as original equipment
      boating technology are key to reducing rise                                                                      from the manufacturer.
                                                                                                                         The Water Sports Foundation encourages
      in boating accidents and fatalities                                                                              boaters to take advantage of the latest boat-
                                                                                                                       ing safety technology including the following:

        As pandemic conditions generated a surge of 415,000 first-time boat buyers (Info-Link) in  the operator had no safety instruction. That  Comfortable Auto Inflatable Life Jackets
      2020 – a 35% increase – recently released U.S. Coast Guard figures indicate a 26% increase in  number drops to only 12% when the operator  According to 2020 U.S. Coast Guard data,
      boating accidents, 25% increase in injuries and 25% increase in boating fatalities during the  had received a nationally approved boating  of those who drowned while boating, 86%
      same time period.                                                           safety education certificate. It’s a no brainer:  were not wearing life jackets. As always, the
        Jim Emmons, executive director of the Water Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated  in-person and online boater education  user must make sure that any life jacket they
      to boating safety and education, said the increase, as tragic as it is, likely is the result of so  courses dramatically improve a boater’s  purchase is U.S. Coast Guard approved for
      many more boaters spending more hours on the water beginning in 2020.  To reduce accidents,  chance for a safe and fun time on the water  the desired activity, age and body size. A
      fatalities, and injuries, he advocates a strong push for new boater education.  this summer.”                    development gaining popularity among
        “Boater safety and education is a critical component to boat operation and ownership,” he  In addition to boater education, Emmons  boaters are auto-inflatable life jackets which
      said. “U.S. Coast Guard statistics confirm that 77% of boating deaths occurred on boats where  points to a long list of new safety technolo-  use small CO2 cartridges to automatically





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