The Dangers of Drinking While Boating!

We’re honoring National Safe Boating Week, which starts on May 16, 2020. The United States Coast Guard created the event to encourage people to wear life jackets. The USCG also urges people to use a variety of other safe boating tips. With that in mind, we need to discuss boating under the influence, aka BUI. Several marine safety sources cite alcohol as being involved in up to one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. This is why we want to share some tips to help keep you from operating a boat under the influence.

DUI and Safe Boating Tips

So, how dangerous is boating under the influence? Well, alcohol and drugs have a bigger effect on your judgment, vision, and coordination when you’re in a boat. The motion, vibration, and other distractions are stronger when you’re drinking. When a boater drinks, they can experience the following effects:

  1. Difficulty processing info and making safe choices.
  2. Impaired balance, coordination, and reaction time.
  3. Reduced peripheral vision, depth perception, focus, and night vision.
  4. Increased risk of hypothermia.

Drinking while boating is a serious matter. Some safety experts say it can make someone 10 times as likely to die in a boating accident than boaters who aren’t drinking. That’s something to think about!

BUI: What Can Happen?

It’s both a legitimate question and one that most adults should be able to answer without asking. We’re all aware of the dangers of drinking while driving, right? Well, boating under the influence carries many of the same risks plus the dangers of being on the water. Generally speaking, this leads to two types of tragedies:

  1. Someone falling overboard and drowning or catching hypothermia.
  2. Any type of accident involving the boat such as crashing into other boats, people, or stationary objects.

Avoid BUI and Stay Safe

So, what should you do? Well, you could go full accountability and not drink whenever you pilot your boat. We understand that not everyone wants to do that, though. We’re not telling anyone not to have fun. We’re just asking that you be responsible for yourself and others when piloting your boat. So, if the party life and your time on your boat overlap, follow these tips from marine experts:

Bring other drinks like soda, water, iced tea, lemonade, etc.

Have plenty of food and snacks on board.

Limit the length/distance of your trips to avoid fatigue.

Have your fun at the dock, beach, or someone’s yard. This gives you some time to sober up before you get back on your boat.

Wait up to an hour per drink before operating your boat.

Wear a life jacket and insist that your passengers do, too. (It’s what Safe Boating Week is all about!)

Safe Boating Week Continues at The Solid Signal Blog

We believe in helping to spread the message of National Safe Boating Week. You’ll find more boating safety tips coming your way. In the meantime, don’t forget that Solid Signal carries a HUGE selection of marine electronics products. Our Signal Connect division specializes in providing satellite TV to commercial and luxury vessels:

If you need satellite TV or a cell phone booster for your boat, call Signal Connect at 866-726-4182. You can also fill out the form below and send it to us.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.