MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MI - There is nothing better than a boat day during a beautiful Michigan summer. However, safety should be any boater's number one priority.
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in 2020 there were 181 boating accidents reported, 33 of those ended in fatality, and 20 were the result of drowning.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources states that Drowning was reported as the cause of death in 79% of all fatalities, which means that four out of five people died from drowning.
The best way to avoid drowning is to always wear a life jacket, accidents happen to even the most experienced swimmers.
For people of age, it is recommended that you avoid any use of alcohol while in water or on a boat.
“Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 23% of deaths,” stated the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
American Red Cross recommends only swimming in designated areas supervised by lifeguards, always swimming with a ‘buddy’, and never leaving children unattended in water. Additionally, if a child is missing you should check the water first.
“Seconds count in preventing death or disability,” stated the American Red Cross.
Lastly, if you are to find yourself swimming in a Great Lake, it is crucial that you are aware of rip currents. According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project data, since 2010, 965 people have drowned in the Great Lakes. In 2020, 56 people drowned in Lake Michigan, making it the deadliest year on record.
It is better to be safe than sorry, therefore enrolling family into swim classes at a young age is always recommended.
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