Avoid a Boating Accident this Fourth of July

Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

June 29, 2012

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -The California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) reminds boaters to use caution on the water this Fourth of July. DBW’s boating accident data shows that more boating accidents occur during this holiday than any others during the summer boating season.

“The need for boaters to become familiar with the rules of the road is critical in ensuring a safe boating experience,” said DBW’s Acting Director Lucia Becerra. “Rules such as steering to the right when approaching another vessel head on, is important to know, especially in crowded waterways.”

The following tips can greatly decrease the chances of boaters being involved in boating accidents:

  • Avoid alcohol. Everyone who drinks alcohol on board is at risk. Passengers can easily fall overboard, swim near the propeller, or cause the vessel to capsize.
  • Operate your boat at a reasonable speed. Boats do not have brakes. The stopping distance in emergencies can be critical.
  • Properly use water ski flags when skiers, wake boarders or tubers are down.  Improper use of flags can be dangerous not only to the person in the water, but to the passing boat where its propeller when become entangled in the tow rope can result in a deadly accident.

For more safety tips or to view California’s boating laws, please visit www.BoatResponsibly.com. Remember, “If it’s your boat, it’s your responsibility”.


Reporting a Boating Accident in California
State law requires boaters involved in accidents to file a written report with DBW when a person dies, disappears or requires medical attention beyond first aid. A report is also required when an accident results in damage to a vessel or other property exceeding $500 or there is a complete loss of a vessel. Boating Accident Report Form.

About DBW
DBW promotes on-the-water safety and helps develop convenient public access to the waterways through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.