Enjoy Coastal Safety and Recreational Activity on the Water

Implement strategies for coastal safety, including the implementation of policies that address high-risk groups to reduce fatalities and promote low-fat, low-cost coastal structures that can withstand large swells. Promote activities that create good beach experiences, including lessons on first aid, nutrition habits for children, nutrition, and beach safety basics, and activities that educate children about their relationship to the sea and to other coastal environments. Increase access to emergency medical services and primary care, and promote activities that create a more positive link between the health and human resources sectors. Consider the use of interactive media such as digital signage, mobile text messaging, and the integration of emergency phones and messaging systems.

Improve collaboration between public agencies and increase open communication links with regional and national partners through the implementation of uniform signage and CPR techniques. Incorporate strategies for public education and awareness into existing coastal safety policy and practices. Build and sustain long-term partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies to improve collaboration and pool resources for resources such as equipment, expertise, and communications. Develop national and international protocols that require employers to provide appropriate workplace protection and to implement preventative measures to reduce exposure to workplace drowning prevention programs.

Studies indicate that by the year 2100, the combined total of coastal deaths and illnesses attributable to lack of life-saving strategies will exceed the projected deaths and illnesses of people living in the United States. Therefore, coastal safety must be a priority on all government agendas. Strategies for coastal safety must include improved life saving practices at beaches and other recreational settings, and mandatory signage at all public gatherings including beach parties, boating events and fishing outings. In addition, the implementation of closed slip-and-fall areas, improved erosion control methods and increased police presence and crowd-control tactics may reduce the number of drownings and emergencies in the future.

Reduce the risk of drowning or injury by implementing policies that promote healthy lifestyle choices, such as practicing regular physical activities and using life jackets when in the water. Train providers and educators are also needing to train the next generation of lifeguards. Training tools must include guidelines for recognizing and rescuing drowning victims, procedures for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mouth-to-mouth breathing, and basic principles of first aid. In addition, public education campaigns can further reduce the number of coastal drowning deaths by informing the public about the inherent dangers of using a swimming pool and about the value of using a lifeguard while in the water. These campaigns can help reduce the number of children becoming a drowning victim every year.

Enhancing emergency communication is an essential component of coastal safety. New technologies have developed that allow operators to more accurately communicate with rescuers and that make giving assistance to others easier. For example, new GPS technology allows operators to easily identify ocean currents and physical characteristics that can indicate that a person has gone astray. In addition, the latest models of cell phones and personal safety gear feature systems that allow people to send immediate messages to the Coast Guard or other rescuers in an emergency situation. New or improved satellite communications systems are also making communication between people on the ground and those in the water much easier.

One other area of coastal safety is your ability to safely drive or operate a boat in or near water. Motorboat races are designed to provide you with an experience that simulates being a sea dog, so you will know what it feels like to have others hooking and pulling against you to get away from you. These motorboat races occur regularly in many areas of the United States, and they may be the perfect activity that gives you a taste of what it feels like to be on the open waters of a lake or river. You will have a chance to practice maneuvering your vessel through tight situations, to see how well you handle emergency situations that may arise and to hone your skills for the real deal when you go boating again.

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