You may have left the shore of Lake Cumberland with the intention of fishing for trout or spending some time at General Burnside State Park. Regardless of your itinerary, your ultimate goal is to make sure that you, and those on board the boat with you, return to shore safely.
You Can Make That Happen
While you can’t prevent every potentially fatal boat accident on Lake Cumberland, you can significantly decrease your chances of being killed in a boat accident. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, you should:
- Always wear a life jacket. In 2013, approximately 77 percent of people who died in recreational boating accidents drowned; 84 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket.
- Receive safety instruction. In 2013, 80 percent of the deaths occurred on vessels where the boat operator did not have safety instruction.
- Never drink while operating the boat. Alcohol use is a leading cause of recreational boat deaths. In 2013, it was listed as a leading cause of death in about 16 percent of fatal boating accidents.
Of course, if you are a passenger on a boat then you should wear your life jacket and insist that the driver of the boat be properly trained and stay sober. You should also insist that the operator be alert and watch his speed. You should refuse to get on the boat if you feel unsafe—your life may depend on it.
Do You Boat on Lake Cumberland?
What other safety tips would you provide to boaters this season? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts with others so that, together, we may avoid fatal boat accidents this year and in years to come.