Summer holidays and vacations see more and more people turning to water activities as a respite from the rising temperatures. While area waterways provide much pleasure for the local community, they can be very dangerous if safety is not foremost in everyone’s mind.
An article on nj.com reported on Thursday, July 1, a canoe carrying four teenagers and traveling downstream in the Delaware River toward the Milford Bridge overturned in the river rapids and began filling with water. All four teens were rescued and brought to shore.
“Very fortunately, they were all wearing their life vests,” Holland Township police Chief David VanGilson commented. (1)
Not every accident has such a happy outcome, however. A collision of two pleasure boats near the Statue of Liberty on July 2 left one New Jersey man dead and another facing charges. A second incident that same night occurred when a boat collided with a kayak in Gunner’s Ditch in Brick Township, according to an article in The Star Ledger. In that crash, the operator of the kayak was knocked into the water, but pulled to safety. (2)
Other recent boating mishaps include:
April 4 — a 26-year-old man drowned in the Delaware and Raritan Canal after the canoe he was riding in overturned. Two other men in that canoe were rescued. Police said in that incident none of the men were wearing life jackets as required by the canoe rental company. (3)
March 26 – A memorial service was held for Chris Baldwin, a man who remained missing after a canoeing accident on March 20. Police were unable to recover Mr. Baldwin’s body after the canoe, which he and his son, Seth, were piloting through the fast-moving currents of the Lambertville Wing Dam overturned. (4)
Now is the time of year that most of us take to the outdoors and begin to utilize our natural resources for our recreational enjoyment. Kids are at camps; weekends are full of activities. Before venturing near the waters, review the safety rules and guidelines with loved ones.
A link to the New Jersey State Police Boating Safety Manual is: http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/info/pdf/marine/021606-boating-safety-manual.pdf
Local boating class information may be available from http:/www.njboatsafely.com/16022.html (Please note that this link is provided for information only and is not an endorsement of services.)