Most boating accidents involve the usage of alcohol and also one-third of all boating fatalities room alcohol related.

You are watching: How does alcohol use affect boat operators or passengers

follow to the U.S. Shore Guard, alcohol was the leading well-known contributing element in fatal boating crashes and was noted as the leading factor in 15 percent the deaths. The is illegal to operate a boat, or to permit others to perform so, while under the affect of alcohol, narcotics, or barbiturates. Penalties space severe and also could include fines, imprisonment, non-paid public service work, and mandatory substance abuse counseling.


Alcohol is a stressor and can diminish a person’s capacity to manage a boat in plenty of ways. as a depressant, alcohol goes straight to the nerves, blood stream, and the brain. As recreational boaters that is hard enough to remember all the rules, regulations, watercraft handling techniques, etc. If lucid.

A few beers to quench the thirsty in a quickly dehydrating body and the following happens:

Eroding feeling of balance

Most boating deaths result from falling out of a little open boat, there is no a PFD, even if it is it capsizes or not.

Vision fades

Because that the sun and reflection of light, objects ~ above the water have the right to be hazy and an overwhelming to see. shade perception and peripheral vision deteriorate and also at night depth tardy decreases. You can imagine what wake up if you can’t distinguish between the red and green markers or red and also green lamp of one oncoming vessel at night.

Physical reactions become slower

Should a person autumn into the water lock may have actually trouble just floating, allow alone grasping ~ above a life ring or throwable device. Include the shock of the cold water and the threat of cramping and drowning is increased significantly.

Surface blood ship dilate

Blood ship on the surface ar of the skin dilate to increase the rate of body heat loss while in the sun. If, while this vessels are dilated, you autumn overboard into cold water hypothermia to adjust in quickly and this further reduces her decision-making abilities.

Judgment and reasoning ability is impaired

One of the points that drinking has tendency to perform is to do you begin to lose your judgment. After a drink or two people tend to end up being relaxed and also are an ext likely to do dangerous acts that they could not usually do if no under the influence. Due to the fact that their judgment is impaired they may not also realize they space doing miscellaneous dangerous. This, merged with the other debilitating symptoms formerly covered, spells disaster.

Environmental stressors

Natural stressors such as exposure come sun, glare, wind, noise, vibration, and also motion on the water produce fatigue.

See more: What Does The Name Kaitlyn Mean In English, Kaitlyn Name Meaning In English

This in itself reduces reaction time almost as much as gift under the influence. Adding alcohol come these environmental stressors aggravates their effects.