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Course Outline

Two boaters holding onto a capsized boat

Most boating fatalities don’t have anything to do with bad weather or hazardous sea conditions. They typically occur in smaller, open boats on inland waters during daylight hours when weather and visibility are good, the winds are light, and the water is calm. Despite these ideal conditions, passengers fall overboard and many boats capsize, causing boating fatalities.

Capsizing is when a boat turns on its side or turns completely over. Swamping occurs when a boat stays upright and fills with water. Sinking is when the entire boat goes beneath the surface of the water. Sometimes a person falling overboard from a boat causes the boat to capsize, swamp, or sink. Regardless, the outcome is the same—people are in the water unexpectedly.

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