Approximately one-third of all boating fatalities occurred while the victim was fishing. Likewise, more hunters die each year from drowning and the effects of hypothermia than from gunshot wounds. The most likely cause of these accidents is capsizing or falling overboard.
Many of the fatalities would have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a PFD.
A number of hunters and fishermen drown each year simply because they do not act as responsible boaters. They overload the boat, stand up, don’t wear PFDs or fail to take other precautions required when boating. Everyone should stay low in the boat and gear should be distributed evenly. A person who stands in a boat does not have the same balance as someone sitting down. A person who fires a gun while standing could easily lose balance and fall overboard.
DO NOT operate around boaters who are hunting. Generally hunters don’t want to be around other boaters any more than other boaters want to be around those hunting from boats. As a rule, if you see someone in a boat who appears to be hunting, just keep clear.
When operating around boaters who are fishing, take extra care to control your wake. People often stand up in their boat to cast or reel in a fish. Your wake could tip the boat and cause someone to fall overboard. Remember that you are responsible for your wake.
If you are the boater who is fishing, remember never to anchor in narrow channels or shipping lanes and do not tie up to aids to navigation. If in an area where you can anchor, do so from the bow.