Boating, fishing and other water sports are fun in their own right. Alcohol can turn a great day on the water into the tragedy of a lifetime. Consider these alternatives to using alcohol while afloat in order to avoid boating under the influence (BUI).
æ Take along a variety of cool drinks, such as sodas, water, iced tea, lemonade or non-alcoholic beer.
æ Bring plenty of food and snacks.
æ Wear clothes that will help keep you and your passengers cool.
æ Plan to limit your trip to a reasonable time to avoid fatigue. Remember that it’s common to become tired more quickly on the water.
æ If you want to make alcohol part of your day’s entertainment, plan to have a party ashore at the dock, in a picnic area, at a boating club, or in your backyard
æ Choose a location where you’ll have time between the fun and getting back into your car or boat.
æ If you dock somewhere for lunch or dinner and drink alcohol with your meal, wait a reasonable time (estimated at a minimum of an hour per drink) before operating your boat.
æ Having no alcohol while aboard is the safest way to enjoy the water — intoxicated passengers are also at risk of injury and falls overboard.
æ Spread the word on the dangers of BUI. Many recreational boaters forget that a boat is a vehicle — and that safe operation is a legal and personal responsibility.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard