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What is the biggest boating danger to watch out for?

Karns & Kerrison

While most people in Rhode Island are aware of the dangers that exist on the road, you may feel less inhibited once you get behind the wheel of a boat. Open water can seem obstacle-free and clear of problems, but the truth is actually very different. Spinal Column details the biggest danger that you need to watch out for while boating: drowning.

You are more likely to be killed from drowning than by any other means while boating. In fact, drowning ranks number three on the list of accidental deaths in the United States. If you are struggling, it takes a mere 20 to 60 seconds for you to drown, not nearly enough time for help to arrive, which explains why people drown 70 percent of the time when they fall overboard or their boat capsizes.

Many times, people feel that they are good swimmers and will be able to make it back to the boat if they fall into the water. Studies have shown that the majority of drownings occur near safety, often within 10-15 feet, and 63 percent of those who drown were not planning on swimming or being in the water at all.

While you may be thinking that you will be protected from this because you have plenty of life preservers, 85 percent of those who drown had life jackets or some form of PFD on their boat, but were not wearing them at the time they fell in the water. In order to truly remain protected, you need to be sure to wear your life preserver anytime you are on or near the water. This information is not intended as legal advice but to educate boaters on the importance of staying safe and preventing drowning.

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