Opening day for trout season is right around the corner, and the RI DEM is reminding anglers – particularly those fishing from a boat – to be careful in pursuit of their first trout of the season – which is to say: wear a life jacket.
Spring has been unusually brisk this year, so frigid waters will likely linger which, according to the Coast Guard. will make boating accidents five times more likely to be fatal, with Canoers and kayakers particularly at risk
In 2016, the Coast Guard found recreational boating deaths involving such paddlecrafts more than doubled in Northeast waters.
Drowning was the cause of death in 80% of all boating fatalities. 83% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets, and 22% of all deaths reported were kayakers and canoeists. Alcohol is a major factor in fatal boating accidents. 77% of deaths were incurred by operator untrained in boating safety.
Lt Steven Criscione, boating safety coordinator for the law enforcement arm of the DEM says “Cold water can kill in ways that you might not expect. The effects of a cold-water immersion event can contribute to death well before any drop of body core temperature.”