2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 74)

ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES If most people had to guess, they’d say that boating fatalities occur during violent collisions involving large boats far off shore. The truth is that the vast majority of fatalities occur either when a small boat capsizes or when a passenger falls into the water. In 1980, 61 people died in boating accidents on New York’s waterways, a staggering rate of more than 19 deaths per 100,000 registered boats. Those numbers have decreased over the years, reaching a low in 2006 of only 14 deaths, or less than 3 per 100,000 registered boats. Although the decline is good news, of those 14 deaths, perhaps half of them could have been avoided through the simple use of a PFD. It cannot be emphasized enough: If you fall into cold water (and New York’s waters are cold for most of the year) and immediate rescue is not at hand, your chances of survival are not good. You can improve your odds by wearing your PFD whenever you’re on the water, especially when the water is cold! A collision between two or more boats is still the most common type of boating accident and often results in traumatic injuries. You must adjust your boat’s speed when the waterways are crowded, and you must be constantly aware of what is happening around you. Never drink alcohol while boating– it can be lethal. Although alcohol does not appear to be a significant factor in most accidents, there is a high percentage of fatal incidents that involve alcohol. In other words, you may get into an accident sober, but you’re far more likely to die in an accident if alcohol is involved. Accidents will happen, and it is impossible to eliminate all accidents and fatalities. However, we should strive to make the waterways as safe as possible for everyone, and using common sense and common courtesy toward other boaters is a good start. Boating education classes help, but you–and all the other boaters on the waterways–must be willing to apply the knowledge you gained in class. Tougher laws can help by making it possible to remove some of the more obvious dangerous boaters from our waterways, but marine law enforcement is limited in its ability to cover all waters at all times. Education and enforcement must be combined with, and complemented by enforceable laws. 15 the scene then the accident shall be reported to the nearest law enforcement as soon as possible. If you as an owner or operator of a boat involved in a boating accident in which there was an injury, death, or disappearance of a person, or if property damage exceeding $1,000 to any one party has occurred, you must report the matter in writing to New York State Parks within 5 days of the accident. Failure to report an accident is a violation under NYS Law. You can download an accident reporting form from the Boating Resources section of the State Parks web site: www.nysparks.com. Recreational boats operating in a commercial capacity are not exempt from any of these provisions. Rendering Assistance (Good Samaritan Law) According to Section 41.3 of the Navigation Law: “It shall be the duty of every master or pilot of any boat to render such assistance as he can possibly give to any other boat coming under his observation and being in distress on account of accident, collision or otherwise.” That means that if you come across another boat that is in distress, the law requires you to assist that boat to the best of your abilities. You are excused from this duty only if rendering assistance would:  endanger your boat;  endanger your passengers;  interfere with other rescue efforts or law  cause further or more extensive damage. You should know how to recognize a boat in distress. Keep in mind that the operator of a boat in distress may have exhausted his supply of visual distress signals, and may be trying other means to get your attention. Even if you don’t see something that looks like a distress signal, be aware of how other boats on the water with you are sailing and how their passengers are behaving. You may observe that a boat has a severe list (leaning over), or is sitting unusually low in the water. A sailboat may have its mast or boom down. Perhaps there are people jumping up 74 enforcement; or Accident Reporting Just as there are laws and rules about reporting automobile accidents, there are laws and rules about reporting boating accidents too. If you are involved in an accident involving a boat, including canoes and kayaks, where damage to any vessel or property occurs, the operator shall exhibit his certificate of registration and give his name, address and identification of his vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any vessel or property damaged. If the person sustaining vessel or property damage or injury cannot be located or if the operator involved in an accident leaves http://www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating/documents/AccidentReportForm.pdf http://www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating/documents/AccidentReportForm.pdf http://www.nysparks.com http://www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating/navigation-law.aspx

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook

2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boat Operations
Personal Watercraft
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers

2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook