Independence Day is often one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Emergency responders around the nation are expecting plenty of reports of drunk driving, backyard barbecue fires and fireworks disasters.
Unfortunately, it’s not much safer out on the water. Even though many maritime workers often take the Fourth of July off, they can be in serious danger for the remainder of the week since thousands of residents take more than just the fourth off.
For many states, the week of the Fourth of July has the highest boat collision and accident rates of the year. Plenty of people take their boats out on the lakes, rivers and the ocean to enjoy their brief vacation under the sun. Major waterways see a dramatic increase in congestion in the days surrounding the national holiday.
While commercial fishers and divers have come to expect seeing more faces on the water during this week, they need to keep an eye out for any suspicious boat behavior. Many of the boat owners on the water are inexperienced in dealing with large crowds in their path and are more likely to make a damaging mistake on their way back to shore.
Independence Day has one of the highest drunk driving death counts of the year, and people both on land and sea need to remember that. A lot of residents during this week spend their free time drinking beer with their friends on their boats. Steering a boat while intoxicated isn’t safer than doing so with a car. Dock workers and other maritime workers out on the water should watch out for boats that have inconsistent speeds and steering problems. Unlike with cars, these aren’t as easy to pull over on the side.
Cruise employees should be alert during this holiday as well. We’ve already talked about how problematic drunk passengers are on a cruise, so imagine how worse it gets during a holiday notorious for alcohol abuse.
Maritime workers should be aware of their options for workers’ compensation during one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the water.