Would you leave a child behind the wheel of car with the engine
Unfortunately some adults do something similar to this with
Analysis by the National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators (NASBLA) reveals that over the past 10 years a number
of adults have carelessly left children unattended on personal
This act of carelessness has often resulted in the child’s
starting the engine and taking off, leading to injury or even death.
Ron Jendro, boating law administrator for Montana and chair of
NASBLA’s Boats & Associated Equipment Committee said, "Apparently
parents and guardians do not realize the risks involved with leaving
a very young child on an unattended PWC.
This is especially hazardous because the lanyard for the engine
cut-off switch is generally left attached to the vessel, making it
easy for the child to push the start button and take off on the PWC."
Statistics gathered through the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating
Accident Report Database (BARD) show that during the past 10 years,
36 accidents involving young children on PWCs have occurred, causing
more than 30 injuries and three fatalities.
Jendro added, "Besides not leaving a young child on an unattended
PWC, adults should remove the lanyard from the engine cut-off switch
when the PWC is docked, beached or otherwise unattended."
NASBLA also recommends that no passenger should be permitted to
ride aboard a PWC unless he or she is able to securely hold on to
the person in front of them or to the handholds, and can also keep
both feet on the deck so as to maintain balance during operation.
"Some awareness and common sense can go a long way to prevent
turning an enjoyable day on the water with family and friends into a
tragedy," Jendro said.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a
non-profit organization comprised of state and territorial
recreational boating authorities.
NASBLA fosters partnerships among the states, the Coast Guard and
others, crafts model boating laws, maintains national education and
training standards, assists in the homeland security challenges on
our waterways, and advocates the needs of the state boating programs
before Congress and federal agencies.