When the weather is warm, it seems like almost everyone turns out to enjoy Pennsylvania’s lakes, rivers and other waterways. Unfortunately some of those who are enjoying water sports or who sail our waters are not paying attention to even the most basic of safety rules or to other vessels in the water.  In addition waterways can become overcrowded and, subsequently, dangerous.

Nearly 90 percent of boating fatalities occur when the person operating the boat did not have any boating safety instruction. Alcohol is commonly involved in boating accidents, when people who are in control of the boat are intoxicated. Other times people will be driving too fast for the waters and cannot slow down or they are driving too close to another boat at too great a speed. Other times, they are not observing the buoys and other signs that warn of shallow spots or staying away from swimming areas.

Many times people are enjoying themselves so much that they are not watching the actual waters and thus, are failing to exercise good care in the operation of their watercraft. Others are on the waters at night, driving without lights or not wearing lifejackets.