Injuries related to boating: ER doctor weighs in on prevention

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IRONDEQUOIT, NY (WROC) — People are heading out on the water in what seems to be record numbers this summer. Dr. Aekta Miglani with the University of Rochester Medical Center says summer is the season for a lot of injuries associated with boating, perhaps even more so this year as the region emerges from COVID.

“Some of the more common injuries we see aren’t always related to the boating itself but some of the other activities, alcohol, heat,” she says.

She says to stock up on things like water, sunblock, and lifevests. Nicholas Paxon and his crew had all that and headed out today for about 5 hours on Lake Ontario. One of the biggest safety issues for him? Boaters zipping by.

“We got some big boats that go by in the ‘no wake zone’ moving pretty good,” says Paxon. He says that causes tipsy, rippling waves. 

And when it comes to drinking and boating, Ben Staples says, “…just don’t. I like Diet Coke,” as he was getting ready to launch his boat in Irondequoit.

News 8 spoke to one Navy veteran who says things like hydration, sunblock, and life vests are key but there is still more people need to think about while out on the water.

“Make sure you know where your flares are at, your whistle… if you have any other safety equipment: cell phones,” says Jen Brennick, Navy veteran. She also adds to have a radio on board and know how to use it in case of an SOS.

Miglani also says taking a first aid or boater safety course can’t hurt. She says many people swim in the lake while boating, which can bring another level of safety issues. She says seconds count in an emergency. 

“One of the number one causes of fatalities related to boating is drowning. And some of those basic CPR skills are really what is going to help save a life,” she says.

Dr. Miglani also says know the depth of the water you’re diving into, too many times they see people getting spinal injuries and broken bones. 

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