National Safe Boating Week
National Safe Boating Week is held from May 20-26, 2023, reminding all boaters to brush up on boating safety skills and prepare for the boating season. A boat is a vehicle and drinking and boating do not mix. MADD likes to take this heightened awareness opportunity to remind everyone about Boating Under the Influence or BUI. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities.
A boater is likely to become impaired more quickly than an automobile driver. The environmental stressors of the marine environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind, and spray – accelerate the impairing effects of alcohol. And alcohol impairs judgment and coordination – two qualities essential for safe boating.
An impaired boat operator on the water becomes an impaired driver on our roads after finishing boating for the day. MADD encourages everyone whose outing includes consuming alcohol to have a safety plan before they get on the water. And if your plans include consuming alcohol consider doing so onshore AFTER you are finished boating for the day and have a non-drinking driver to get you safely to your next destination on land. If a Designated Driver is unavailable, other options like Lyft and Uber exist.
On May 19, MADD Hawaii, US Coast Guard, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, City and County of Honolulu Emergency Management Services, and representatives from Honolulu’s elected officials reminded all boaters to boat responsibility on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, attach the engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check, and don’t drink and operate a boat. It will take all of us working together and supporting each other’s work to end this tragic epidemic of impaired drinking and driving, or operating a boat. MADD Hawaii is pleased to be a partner working to help keep our waters and roads safe.