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Boat Lighting and Holiday Safety: The Responsibility Is Yours

July 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 584

It's unfortunate but true that although summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day offer some of the best opportunities for families to get out and enjoy some quality time together, with so many events and so many people congregating in large numbers, the potential for tragedies increases as well. Particularly with the 4th where more people every year are taking to the water in order to get some of the most spectacular views of fireworks displays, the potential for boating accidents is increased immensely. Perhaps the biggest tragedy here is that many of the accidents and injuries which occur during summer holiday events were entirely avoidable and preventable. During the summer and especially during holidays, boating accidents spike in number and severity due to a variety of factors which if addressed could be reduced in number.

Every year thousands of boaters go through extensive preparations to ready their watercraft for an extended day on the water. They load up on provisions and amenities, make sure the engines are running properly, put a protective shine and wax on everything, and top off the fuel and batteries. Unfortunately, too many boaters, however, put little if any effort into ensuring safety aboard their vessel. While most of us should by now be well versed in the dangers of mixing alcohol and boating, operating a vessel while impaired is far from the only holiday season safety issue to be concerned with although the issue is heightened at these times.

In May of this year four people died when the two aluminum boats being used to ferry party goers to an island get together collided head on. Authorities stated that at least one of the vessels did not have any navigation lights showing. In another recent incident, two people were seriously injured in a boating accident at Ginger Cove Lake, Neb when their boat was hit by another vessel which could not see them in the darkness due to their lack of navigation or anchor lighting. In still another recent incident on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, a fishing boat was hit by a recreational cruiser after sundown. The operator of the cruiser cited poor conditions as a factor in the crash, and the local authorities believed the fishing boat was not properly illuminated. These are just a few very real incidents that could very likely have been easily prevented had diligent attention to safety and equipment been practiced.

Anytime a boat is on the water at night, unless it is below a very small size and keeping to very specific close to shore locations, it must carry navigation and identification lighting of some sort. Any vessel which is not operating the correct lighting either while underway or at anchor at night is in violation of Coast Guard Regulations as well as placing the occupants onboard as well as the occupants of other nearby vessels in serious danger of injury or even death. Just was with operating a vessel while intoxicated, there is simply no justification for not being a responsible boater and taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your party as well as the safety of other boaters around you. Particularly with the lighting options available today, there are a huge array of affordable and effective lighting solutions for every boater's needs and very little reason not to take advantage of them.

Particularly popular among boaters today are LED navigation lights and LED anchor lights. Quickly becoming the standard in the boat lighting industry, LED boat lights offer power and efficiency that simply cannot be matched by traditional incandescent navigation lights. There is little doubt that LED lights can cost more initially, but their excellent efficiency and extremely long life easily helps to offset their initial higher costs. What is more important however, is that LED navigation or anchor lights can be easily installed, operated no differently than traditional lights, and will provide almost maintenance free reliability over the life of the fixture.

The long life and high reliability of LEDs can offer some measure of insurance if you will against the possibility that you will have navigation lights fail while already away from shore, and will add some measure of security should you for some reason fail to make as thorough a pre-trip inspection. With the chances of a bulb burning out or a lamp failing from abusive conditions greatly reduced, the chances of an accident due to insufficient lighting will also be reduced as well. Of course, no technology is foolproof, and just because you have indeed installed LEDs is no reason to become lax in your maintenance efforts or pre-trip preparations. But they do add a nice reassurance should mistakes occur.

A few years ago it was still difficult to find LED boat lights that would perform as advertised, and the number of good quality LED products also carrying Coast Guard approval was also low as well. Fortunately, the past five years have seen continued growth in the LED boat light markets, and competition and LED development has now led to a wide array of LED options to fit just about every need. Not only are the plenty of types and brands of LED fixtures to choose from, but most are simple to install, requiring little more than removing the old fixtures, connection the wires, and mounting the new fixtures. IN most cases it isn't even necessary to replace wiring as the low power requirements of LED lights means that you won't need heavier or thicker wire to ensure safe current loads in the electrical system.

The bottom line is that the summer holidays are a time to relax, enjoy our time with family and friends, but to also do so safely. No boater should ever operate a vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and ensuring the properly safety equipment is onboard extends not only to carrying lifejackets and a radio, but making sure all your boats lighting systems are operating correctly as well.

If you are looking for LED lights for your boat please visit

Source: EzineArticles
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