Reader Mail: Boating Deaths Can Be Prevented

Deadly Boating

All too common: Unfortunately the deadly Fourth of July boating accident that killed four, like many of the boating fatalities you wrote about ("Blood on the Water," Trevor Bach, July 17), is a combination of the most unlikely events happening at the same time. The boat that was struck was dead in the water and had zero lights to identify its location. And the vessel that was driven by a very capable captain was one of the young men to lose his life with his dear friends. Adam Lefcourt

Stop drinking and boating: This whole story is incredibly sad and could have been avoided if alcohol consumption was not a factor in most of these boating accidents. John C. Tucker

All of the lights: When boating, captains need to remember the old saying "Two is one, one is none." You need two kinds of lights — the ones on the boat and a handheld. You need a second battery for your handheld VHF. You might even want to invest in a radio distress beacon. You need flares, and you need to know how to deploy them. If these boaters in your story had carried any of these things, they would have been seen and avoided or picked up by rescuers if they'd been hit. As a captain, you are responsible for everyone on your boat and their safety in an emergency situation, such as getting stuck dead in the water. It is unfortunate these accidents happen, because they are avoidable. A flashlight could have saved these people's lives on the Fourth of July. Anastasia Biltmore

Endangering everyone: The sad fact is that there are lots of well-educated, licensed captains out there and responsible adults trying to give beautiful ocean experiences to their children. But all it takes is an inexperienced young kid at the wheel who just wants to drink and party and then drive. Boaters should also have designated drivers. I also agree that nighttime boating is a no-no. These people put our lives in danger along with our families. Sandra Castillo Perez

Don't boat at night: Boating is inherently dangerous, but boating at night is freakin' stupid. Those giant steel bridge pilings are very dark, and there are always a few missing reflectors. Stay away from night boating. Michael del Vice

Clueless boaters: Channels are clearly marked, and the rules are clear: Stay to your right. But from what little boating I've done, it's not hard to see that some folks have no clue where the channel is and that traffic flow is no different from driving their cars on a street — except the street is obviously marked as a path, and the open water isn't always. James G. Camp

Adios, LeBron

Stay classy, Miami: For all the people saying Miami isn't classy, all they need to do is consider how we reacted to LeBron James leaving to return to Cleveland ("Life After LeBron," Kyle Munzenrieder, July 17). As a city, we reacted with class. Most expressed their sincere gratitude and well wishes, which he rightly deserves. Thanks for the four years, LeBron. I will miss watching you play for Miami. Good luck, except when you play the Heat. You did the right thing. Cusi Gonzalez

Cheers, LBJ: Everyone moves on, and LJ did great things for the Heat. Thanks for the good run there. Mark Mares

Bunch of baloney: If LeBron's heart was truly in Cleveland, he would have never left in the first place. You hang in there in good times or in bad times. He is just chasing rings at any cost. I like LeBron, but don't give me that crap about going home. You shouldn't have left in the first place if you love Ohio so much. Lourdes Jessup

LeBron doesn't care about you: LeBron doesn't care about Miami or Cleveland. He cares about winning rings. If he cared about a city or a team, he would have stayed where he started. Had the Heat won the championship this past season, he would have stayed. Had the Cavaliers not gotten the first-round pick in NBA draft and had an up-and-coming point guard, he would not have gone back to Cleveland. It worked out perfectly for him, because now he can say his heart is in Cleveland. But it's not! Fans who think he cares about their city are delusional. Jonathan Wainsztein

Basketball is business: I thought the fans in Cleveland were unfair in criticizing him years ago for leaving them. You can't blame the man for looking out for his career. Basketball is a business. As a Miami fan, I'm happy he gave us so many good years. Go, LeBron, go! Maria Eugenia Sosa Ordonez

 
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