Risk Management Stresses
On-screen text: BOATING
Speaker 1: Are boaters in New Hampshire allowed to consume alcohol?
Speaker 2: They are, as long as they do that responsibly. The operator, as long as they’re of age, can have an open container, in addition to the passengers on board. But people need to remember that boating while intoxicated is the same as driving while intoxicated. And in the state of New Hampshire, the penalties are the exact same, as well.
Speaker 1: What are some of the stressors that would make you more impaired, even just having one beer out on the water?
Speaker 2: There’s a lot of environmental factors that are going to impact that operator’s ability to operate safely while they’re out there. That could be the vibration of the boat. It could be the glare of the sun. It could be the rocking motion of the boat. It’s going to vary, but oftentimes, we see that that exacerbates that level of impairment in conjunction with what they’ve had to drink.
Oftentimes, people are not drinking a lot of water or other hydrating fluids, and so they’re actually becoming dehydrated while they’re out there. Now you add alcohol to the mix and you’re going to have—someone’s going to just be more impaired than what they would be, maybe, in a different setting.
Speaker 1: Even though drinking and boating are allowed, what is your recommendation for best practices?
Speaker 2: The best practice is to have a sober operator. No one plans for a disaster out there on the water, and so having that operator that’s had nothing to drink certainly is going to make a faster response time, faster reaction time, and that’s just safer for everybody.
Speaker 1: Like having a designated driver.
Speaker 2: It’s the exact same.