Sea Tow Reminds Boaters to Designate a Sober Skipper
June 28, 2011
The summer boating season is in full swing and with it comes the desire to socialize and entertain on the water instead of on land. “Enjoying a day out on the water with family and friends is one of the great benefits of owning a boat,” says Gail Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “We want boaters to have fun on the water, but we want them to be safe. That’s why we recommend that boaters designate a sober skipper who will be responsible for operating the boat and making sure that everyone makes it back to the dock safely.”
“If it saves the life of even one boater, I will know that we have made a difference,” Frohnhoefer said.
Alcohol and drug use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. In addition, the effects of the sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion that are common to boating can intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications. Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state and territory and the Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws pertain to all boats, from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships. The U.S. Coast Guard has consistently listed alcohol use as the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
Sea Tow Services International, Inc. founder and CEO, Captain Joseph Frohnhoefer, has witnessed first-hand what boating under the influence can do having assisted law enforcement officials in search and rescue missions following tragic accidents. He feels strongly that while simple, the message “Boats and booze don’t mix,” is an important one for boaters to heed. In fact, the company regularly hands out promotional cups and koozies bearing the message. “If it saves the life of even one boater, I will know that we have made a difference,” Frohnhoefer said.