In 2013, 560 individuals lost their lives while boating, and 2,620 sustained non-fatal injuries. Forty-nine of those who died and 589 of those who were injured were youth between the ages of 0 and 19 years old. Since 1971, boating deaths have steadily decreased thanks to programs focusing on boater safety education, the use of personal flotation devices, and attention to risk factors like improper boating techniques and boating under the influence of alcohol.
During this webinar, Pamela Dillon, education director of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), will provide an overview of recreational boating safety in the U.S. focusing on fatality trends, the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, and NASBLA's model legislation for boating safety. We will also hear from two states that recently passed legislation to improve boating safety. Brian Kempf, director of the New York Marine Services Bureau, will discuss his state's mandatory boater safety education law, including enforcement and evaluation of the law. Wade Alonzo, the boating program manager of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, will describe his state's new boating under the influence law, which resulted from a highly collaborative network of partners focused on boating safety and drowning prevention.