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Recently I wrote an article on the shortage of ammunition we’re experiencing in the country right now. And contrary to what a lot of us might have believed, there’s no conspiracy. It’s actually a matter of economics. The demand has so far surpassed the supply that manufacturers can’t keep up.

The same math has applied to the boating world. I spoke with some of our local boat dealers back during the summer and they stated that, due to COVID, and everyone having to find alternative forms of entertainment, boating sales were through the roof. So much so, that now boat manufacturers are having a tough time trying to meet this year’s demand.

Apparently, the sheer volume of people on Louisiana’s lakes and rivers has had an adverse effect though. In an article from the Louisiana Radio Network, we learn that in 2020, Louisiana saw a twenty percent increase in boating accident incidents and boating related fatalities.

Spokesperson for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Adam Einck, said the pandemic has caused an increase in the number of boaters out on the water. “We’ve had a lot more people that have had to stay home because of quarantine. We’ve had a lot more people utilize the outdoors in the past year, which is exactly what we want people to do but we also want people to do it in a very safe manner.”

In 2020 Louisiana recorded 162 incidents compared to 135 in 2019. We also experienced 24 fatalities last year, which was an increase of four over 2019.

And when it comes to boating fatalities, Einck said there’s a very common denominator. “Almost everyone that we recover from the waterways that are deceased was found without wearing a lifejacket. Just doing the simple task of wearing that life jacket when you’re underway, it could save your life.”

Einck adds that with the number of different styles and sizes of floating devices, spend the time needed to pick one that you'll actually wear. “Just find something you’re very comfortable with something you don’t mind wearing all day, that’s the biggest factor I feel.”

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