If you saw the news lately, you saw that a family was killed by a drunken boat driver. We all want to have fun on the water but drinking and handling a boat are two different things.
Alcohol affects everyone differently. This means no amount of alcohol can be said to be safe for everyone. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect behavior and ability, increasing the risk of drowning.
Alcohol can heighten the risk of drowning because it:
- Impairs judgement. Alcohol distorts the perception of risk and one’s abilities
- Increases risk-taking behavior. Alcohol removes inhibitions
- Reduces coordination. Alcohol numbs the senses, particularly sight, sound, and touch leading to unsteadiness and the inability to climb or swim making it hard to get out of trouble
- Impairs reaction time. Alcohol is a depressant, reducing the rate the brain processes information. In water emergencies, where response times are vital, it can prove the difference between life and death
HOW TO STAY SAFE
- Do not enter the water or go swimming if alcohol has been consumed
- Participate in aquatic activities before drinking alcohol and do not re-enter the water afterwards
- Do not consume alcohol if you are supervising children
- Avoid boating and drinking alone
- Avoid boating at night
- Avoid boating in conditions or environments unfamiliar to you
Just like a designated driver for a vehicle, make sure you have a designated driver for your boat.
Be safe and enjoy the summer.
Source: Royal Life Saving