Fact Sheets

2013 Recreational Boating Fatalities – Lowest on Record

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics Wednesday, revealing that boating fatalities that year totaled 560 — the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.

From 2012 to 2013, deaths in boating-related accidents decreased 14 percent, from 651 to 560, and injuries decreased from 3,000 to 2,620, a 12.7 percent reduction. The total reported recreational boating accidents decreased from 4,515 to 4,062, a 10 percent decrease.

The fatality rate for 2013 of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 13 percent decrease from the previous year’s rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Property damage totaled approximately $39 million.

“We are pleased that there have been fewer accidents on waterways in recent years and thank our partners for their work,” said Capt. Jon Burton, director of inspections and compliance at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. “Together we will continue to stress the importance of life jacket use, boating education courses and sober boating.”

The report states alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 17 percent of deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

Where the cause of death was known, 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those drowning victims, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Where boating instruction was known, 20 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction. The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating [...]

Loss of Consciousness in Breath-Holding Swimmers

A Special Guest Article By Neal W. Pollock, Ph.D.
The risk of fatal loss of consciousness in fit and frequently highly competent swimmers was well described by Albert Craig in 1961.1,2 Blackout in swimming pools is not a new problem, but it is one that requires eternal vigilance. More importantly, terminology has recently become confusing and misleading. We can clear up some of the confusion; the need for vigilance will remain.

Metabolic gases (oxygen [O2] and carbon dioxide [CO2]) are fundamental components of our physiological processes. We consume O2 and produce CO2. While CO2 is commonly thought of as a waste product, it is critical in maintaining the acid-base balance in our tissues. For this reason, we maintain CO2 in the body at concentrations 140-160 times greater than the concentration in air.

The respiratory cycle regulates the levels of O2 and CO2 in our bodies by focusing on CO2. Expiration (breathing out) eliminates CO2 and inspiration (breathing in) restores O2. It is the rise of CO2 in the blood that stimulates breathing. When a breath-hold swimmer takes in a full breath of air and begins voluntary breath-hold, the urge to break the breath-hold is almost exclusively driven by rising CO2 levels. A normal healthy individual can hold his or her breath as long as possible with no significant risk. The point at which the urge to breathe is absolutely undeniable is reached far before the O2 level in the blood falls low enough to threaten consciousness. This is the exquisite nature of respiratory control.

What many swimmers who become interested in breath-hold quickly realize is that hyperventilation (ventilation of the lungs in excess of metabolic need) can dramatically increase breath-hold time. The effect works whether the hyperventilation is [...]

20 Water Safety Links and Ideas- Spring 2014

NDPA Board Member – and Pool Safety Mom – Mary Ann Downing put together a helpful list of water safety links and ideas for this spring.  

Promote drowning prevention education and awareness in your own community, network or through your organization, by joining us and supporting the NDPA.

Know that Drowning IS Preventable (and Predictable). Drowning is a leading cause of “Injury Death”. www.cdc.gov  Get the stats for your state and local community. Look at ages 1-4!
Dare to ask “Do you know… All Water has RISK?  Where is YOUR RISK?”

Use the Safer3 Message, the risk of drowning is in 3 main areas – Safer Water, Safer People, Safer Response www.safer3.org Distribute brochures, activity sheets, and water watcher tags.
Promote Safer Water- learn more about “Layers of Protection http://ndpa.org/resources/safety-  tips/layers-of-protection/  Tip: Keep kids securely away from water if it’s not time to swim, use alarms, fencing, safety covers, maintain water clarity, check drain covers, prevent entrapment, etc.
Promote Safer People with Safer3 Early Education  http://ndpa.org/resources/courses/safer3/,  http://ndpa.org/resources/safety-tips/water-smart-baby-lessons/ Actively supervise, (hands on toddlers, within arms reach of children, eyes on all) when near the water. Learn to swim, wear a life jacket, learn water safety rules, use the Water Watcher tag with an extra set of eyes on the water
Promote Safer Response- learn basic water rescues, know CPR with Rescue Breathing, teach reach/throw.  http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/water-safety
I Remember those lost to drowning and water incidents.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm3glUr9cNg
Celebrate National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Month- Proclamations for May http://www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org/
Celebrate International Water Safety Day-May 15th   http://internationalwatersafetyday.org/
Attend an event and promote The World’s Largest Swim Lesson- June 20th, 2014, http://www.wlsl.org/
Promote the “Seal of Safer Pools” program. http://ndpa.org/ndpa-seal-of-safer-pool-practices/
For home owners promote the Home Pool Essentials on [...]

Fact Sheets

By |November 23rd, 2011|Fact Sheets|0 Comments|