Anchor yourself to safety — mentally and physically

Anchor yourself to safety — mentally and physically

Hair blowing, engine roaring, waves moving and music booming. What more can you ask for?

Boating is a fun activity, but without proper precaution, dangers can arise. The National Safety Council notes each year, about 74 million people go boating. This large number of people means boat-traffic is common on the water, putting injuries at a higher risk.

“General rules of proper water safety include anticipating, avoiding and surviving situations that can lead to drowning,” says Dr. Tony Hampton, family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group.

“Despite taking other precautions, a life jacket may still be the difference that will save the life of even skilled swimmers,” he says.

Sadly, Dr. Hampton knows this from first hand-experience, after his family tragically lost a loved one in a January 2018 boating accident. His 44-year-old cousin died after falling out of a small boat without a life jacket while fishing with his two young sons.

Dr. Hampton’s cousin was an outdoorsman, respected athlete and far from the typical profile of someone who would become a drowning victim. The tragic event serves as a reminder that even experience won’t prevent panic or allow a boater to see what’s under the surface of the water.

“From our family to yours, we strongly encourage you to always use a life jacket when enjoying water-related activities,” Dr. Hampton says.  “It may be all the insurance you will need to ensure no one in your family becomes a victim of drowning.”

Check out these 6 tips to keep in mind on your next excursion:

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About the Author

Kelsey Andeway
Kelsey Andeway

Kelsey Andeway, health e-news contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago earning a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys dancing, baking, and taking long walks with her Chocolate Lab.