As summer approaches and the South Florida boating season is in full swing, there is no lack of folks partying out on their boats and yachts every weekend.
We certainly do not want to put a damper on any of those festivities, but we also want to encourage boating safety at all times, and feel it is important to remind boat owners that boating under the influence, or “BUI,” is more common than you might think, and presents a serious hazard on the waterways.
In May alone, there were several serious boating accidents in Miami-Dade county, and at least one fatality. This past weekend, a19 year old Vero Beach man lost his life, when the boat he was on struck a channel marker on the Indian River and he was ejected. All of these incidents remain under investigation, but authorities have not ruled if alcohol was or was not involved. Given the time of year and the problems with boating and drinking, it does seem likely that alcohol played a role, in some if not all of these accidents.
BUI puts you, your passengers, and fellow boaters all at risk. Here are some common alcohol myths and misconceptions that all yacht owners should be aware of.
Myth: It’s OK to drink beer, because it’s less intoxicating than wine or cocktails
Busted! – A 12 oz. beer contains the same amount of alcohol as 5 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor.
Myth: If you are drunk, a cold shower, coffee, or fresh air out on deck can sober you up.
Busted! – Cold showers and coffee will only make you a cleaner and more wide-awake drunk. They can do nothing to lower your Blood Alcohol Level, only your liver can detoxify alcohol and that process takes time to get you sober!
Myth: If you are out at sea, and the temperature is dropping, a shot of brandy or whiskey can get you warm.
Busted! – Alcohol can give you a warm rush, making you feel as if you are warmer because it dilates the blood vessels close to the surface of your skin. But, in fact those dilated blood vessels will eventually lower your body temperature, because they will make you lose heat more rapidly!
The Ultimate Designated Driver!
The Coast Guard and local state authorities are cracking down on BUI. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is a major factor in as much as 50% of all recreational boating fatalities. The Coast Guard says a boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration above .10% – the legal threshold in 38 states – is 10 times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than a boater with zero BAC.
The fact that BUI can be so dangerous, and that authorities are putting boaters under increased scrutiny, speaks volumes to the advantages of having a qualified captain at the helm of your yacht.
Of course there is a level of excitement and exhilaration to be experienced driving your own luxury yacht. However, on those occasions, such as a holiday weekend, when you know you want to drink, and party, why not turn the helm over to a qualified captain and crew? They can make your party that much grander, not only by catering to your guests, but insuring your safety and the safety of your vessel!
Finding the Right Captain and Yacht Crew
Now that you understand how vital your captain and crew can be, not only for your pleasure, but your safety when you are using your yacht, you may be wondering, “how do I find the right crew?”
Did you know that our On Demand Yachting solution has been designed to remove all of the hassles of yacht ownership, including finding and hiring the right crew for your needs and the particular needs of your yacht and guests?
We will help you to define your needs, and then do all of the work for you, matching you with a captain and crew personnel that are the best fit. And, if you do not want or need a full-time crew, with our stress-free crew management solution, you only pay for a captain or crew on those special occasions when you need it!
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.