Boat Safety


It is important to teach your students about boat safety. It is likely that many of them will be in contact with boats during the summer months.



  • Two-thirds of all boating related fatalities were caused by drowning
  • Ninety percent of boating accident victims that drown were not wearing a lifejacket
  • It is estimated that 423 lives could have been saved in 2006 if all boaters had worn life jackets.
  • In 70% of the accidents that caused a fatality, the operator had no boating safety training

From: U.S. Coast Guard


Top Causes of Boating Accidents:

  • Operator Inexperience
  • Operator Inattention
  • Reckless Operation
  • Excessive Speed

Tips for Preventing Boat Injuries and Deaths (from CDC)

  • Wear Your Life Jacket While Boating
  • When properly fitted, a life jacket or PFD can help to prevent a tragedy.
  • Avoid Alcoholic Beverages While Boating
  • Complete a Boating Education Course
  • Participate in the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) Program.

*The Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a free public service provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron volunteer organizations promoting boating safety. These volunteer personnel check safety equipment and provide information about equipment purpose, safety procedures and applicable regulations.

**For more information on the VSC Program, visit their web site:

  • Be sure to check state and local requirements, available from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators website, before boating. There are different rules and regulations for operator-age, safety equipment, etc. in different parts of the country.


Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (US). Boating Statistics – 2006 [online]. 2008. [cited 2008 March 26]. Available from URL:

Boat Safety Classroom Activities:


Download a Personal Flotation Device Guide

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