Safe Boating Saves Lives!

There were 9 drownings related to boating accidents in California State Parks during calendar year 2004.  Most boating related fatalities can be prevented by taking a safe boating course, following simple safety precautions, and ensuring that everyone aboard has a suitable well fitting lifejacket. 

First attempt to pull boat

  • Carry life preservers — a vessel must carry at least one proper-fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person on board.  Remember that state law requires children under age 12 to wear a life jacket while the vessel is underway unless the child is in an enclosed cabin. For everyone’s safety, all boaters should wear a personal flotation device when on the water.
  • Check your safety equipment – Fire extinguisher? Anchor? Signal devices? Radio and/or cell phone? Life jackets?  Know BEFORE you GO!
  • Don’t drink and operate a boat — Alcohol and water recreation don’t mix!  It is against the law and dangerous to operate a boat while intoxicated. Intoxicated passengers also risk falling overboard and drowning.

Surf Watch Rescue

  • Inhaling carbon monoxide can be deadly — State law prohibits the dangerous practice of teak surfing, platform dragging, or bodysurfing behind a boat.  Anyone near the boat’s engine or generator exhaust is exposed to carbon monoxide, which can cause them to lose consciousness and drown.
  • Watch your speed and direction — The speed limit is 5 mph, or less, within 200 feet of a swimming beach or boat dock, or within 100 feet of a swimmer.  Follow all posted signs and marked buoys for speed and direction when operating your vessel.  SLOW IS PRO!

Visit the Department of Boating and Waterways Education website for more safe boating tips, information on safe boating courses and the ABC’s of California Boating Law: