71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, hence it won’t be a big surprise if we tell you that there are around 140 million people in the world who participate in recreational boating and water sport activities. Spending a part of your day cruising through the water, relaxing with the slight wind touching your hair, reminiscing the soft movement of the hull parallel to the waves – this is what the ideal vacation day looks like for every average American family that owns a boat. In the US around 13.1 million households own a boat, and more than 26% per cent of the country’s entire population is engaged in recreational boating. Keeping in mind the importance of boating, especially during the peak seasons of May and September, the National Safe Boating Council, a membership organization with over 500 U.S and International Members who are committed to reducing boating accidents and promoting a safe recreational boating experience has announced May 20 – 26 as National Safe Boating week for the U.S. The council was formed in September 1958 as the National Safe Boating Committee to educate boaters about boating during National Safe Boating Week. Each day of the week from May 20 – 26 is assigned an importance that pertains to ensuring safe boating. May 20th – Safe boating course and vessel safety check, May 21st – Essential Gear, May 22nd – Wear your life jackets, May 23rd – Boating under the influence, May 24th– Weather, May 25th – Environmental Factors, and May 26th – Situational Awareness.  

Currently, National Safe Boating Week focuses solely on the United States, yet boating accidents occur worldwide. This highlights the necessity for additional programs and increased awareness globally. In a tragic incident on May 8th, in Tanur municipality, Kerala, a faulty fishing boat that had been converted into a tourist’s vessel led to the loss of 22 lives. Shockingly, among the victims were 15 children. The boat had exceeded its capacity, accommodating more tourists than it could safely handle, and had not been authorized for operation after dusk. This devastating incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for improved safety measures in boating activities.

Condition of the boat that met with the accident in Tanur, Malappuram district on May 8, 2023. 

It also emphasizes the importance of addressing similar practices on a global scale. Safety standards in boats must exceed those of any other vehicle due to the longer time required to escape in case of an approaching accident. As a manufacturer of solar electric boats, we prioritize the utmost importance of safe boating. Our batteries are Marine Grade certified, guaranteeing the safety of both operators and passengers. 

To ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience, here are a few essential precautions you can consider: 

  1. Get certified: Take a boating course from a certified instructor to understand boat basics and safety guidelines for both drivers and passengers 
  2. Wear lifejackets: Always wear lifejackets to stay afloat and prevent drowning. They automatically keep you face-up in the water, even if unconscious. 
  3. Check the weather: Be aware of changing weather conditions. Signs like gusts of wind or choppy water indicate approaching bad weather. Avoid boating if there are risks. 
  4. Carry a boat safety kit: Keep a well-equipped safety kit on board, including items like a flashlight, duct tape, bucket, first aid kit, whistle, ropes, mirror, garbage bags, fire extinguisher, and life jackets. 
  5. Stay sober: Avoid drugs and alcohol while boating. Alcohol use is a leading cause of recreational boating fatalities, with drowning involved in 80% of fatal incidents.