Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Avoid Seafair BUI

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer Consultant, Evergreen Safety Council
 Seafair is billed as the biggest party in Seattle, and I have no doubt that it is so. There will be literally thousands of folks on the water, enjoying the sunshine and having a good time. Unfortunately, some are having too good of a time. Many are enjoying a "cold one" of their choice and sadly some of them are intoxicated, before the day is even half over.

The penalties for BUI (Boating Under the influence) are severe, similar to the penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle on the highways while intoxicated. The various law enforcement agencies will be carefully watching for boats being operated in an unsafe manner, and will be conducting boardings where deemed necessary.

Here's the one sure way to keep it all safe: choose a designated sober skipper.

Negotiating the mass of boats, both anchored and drifting, as well as people in the water is tough enough, even without your "driving skills" being impaired.

Unfortunately, there is a small segment of boaters on the lake during this event who are even more dangerous; those who mix alcohol and other controlled substances. The chemicals in prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and yes, illegal "street drugs", when taken together with alcohol have a greater debilitating effect, than either would have had by itself.

I've served aboard a patrol boat during many previous Seafair weekends, and I know firsthand that a drunk boater is a dangerous boater, please don't drink and attempt to operate your boat, this weekend or at any time.

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