Saturday, March 2, 2013

Statistics to avoid

The annual USCG Recreational Boating Statistics is somewhat dry reading to say the least. It's a graphs, tables, and runes filled dusty tome. So in the public's interest, the Parmain Top Secret Laboratory's super computer has been burning its vacuum tubes all week crunching it's 79 pages of data. This has all been carefully analysed, and summarized into a "How best to improve your chances of dying" in a boating related accident.

So if you desire to undertake the odious quest to become an official USCG approved statistic, you need to achieve this less than zen like state.

It requires you to be an inexperienced, and inattentive male boater who is 36 to 55 years old who fails to keep proper look out. You haven't taken a single boating safety course of any kind. You need to drink lots of alcohol while cruising at high speeds with no life preservers available.

Your poorly maintained boat is fiberglass and built prior to 1998. It's 16' to 26' in length and 76 and 150 horse power is the optimum. This boat should be used on a lake, pond, near a dam, or in a gravel pit in Florida.

You must boat only on good visibility days in calm waters whose temperatures range from 70 to 79 degrees. All boating should be done in July during the hours of 2:21 pm to 4:30 pm on a Sunday.

If you manage to do all of this on a regular basis it won't take very long before you have a collision, and drown. The perfect statistical storm is waiting. It's just that simple. 

These are by category the conditions in which the maximum number of boating fatalities occur. It's not the stormy day with high seas, and poor visibility when you're really paying close attention. It's that nice day in July when everybody is having a good time, and often too much of a good time.

If you want to be statistically the safest, be a sober US Power Squadron trained boater wearing a life jacket while using an air boat over 65' in length with less than 10 horsepower, between 4:31 am and 6:30 am on a December Tuesday in New Mexico while trolling or idling. The numbers can be funny things at times.

Data was from the USCG 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics.

Many thanks to the McKeehan family blog for the use of their photo. You can read about their boating adventure here. The key words in the story were they had all the right safety gear, and all of the kids had life jackets on. They were not statistics because they were prepared.  

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