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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:12AM

Behave on the water

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Bill Hempel

By Bill Hempel

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The open water can treat boaters much like a parent treats a child. Good behavior is rewarded, and bad behavior usually results in punishment. However, the type of reward and punishments doled out is drastically different. Bad behavior as a child can result in time out, being grounded or similar treatment. A boater’s bad behavior can result in serious injury or fatality. Likewise, good behavior as a child may call for an increase in allowance or a star on your forehead, while good behavior on the water may result in saving a life.

Many of us have recently read about the couple rescued from a capsized vessel, 20 miles offshore of Miami. The exact cause of the accident isn’t clear, but one can assume safely that ignoring weather forecasts while 20 miles out at sea probably were contributors. So, Mother Nature punished this behavior by capsizing the boat. This resulted in what was certainly a life-threatening situation.

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