The Typical Boating Accident
Most boating fatalities don't have anything to do with bad weather or hazardous sea conditions. They typically occur in smaller, open boats on inland waters during daylight hours when weather and visibility are good, the winds are light, and the water is calm. Despite these ideal conditions, passengers fall overboard and many boats capsize, causing over half of all boating fatalities.
Capsizing, Swamping, or Falling Overboard
Capsizing is when a boat turns on its side or turns completely over. Swamping occurs when a boat stays upright and fills with water. Sometimes a person falling overboard from a boat causes the boat to capsize or swamp. Regardless, the outcome is the same—people are in the water unexpectedly.
Help Prevent Capsizing, Swamping, or Falling Overboard
To help prevent and prepare for capsizing, swamping, or someone falling overboard, follow these guidelines.
Tips for Small Craft Boaters
Small craft boaters need to be especially careful to avoid falling overboard. Falling overboard and drowning is the major cause of fatalities for small boats. To prevent falling overboard:
Bow Riding is Risky
Sitting on the gunwale, bow, seat backs, or any other area not designed for seating is risky behavior and can result in falling overboard. It is illegal in many states.