Maritime activities are important for our society and the world at large. Professionals navigate the vast oceans to transport goods, conduct research and ensure safety.
However, the presence of pleasure boats on the open sea raises questions about potential risks even for ocean professionals.
One significant concern is the navigational challenge posed by pleasure boats. Ocean professionals, such as cargo ship captains and research vessel operators, follow specific routes to ensure safety and efficiency. Pleasure boats, often driven by amateurs, may lack the necessary knowledge of maritime rules and navigation procedures. This lack of expertise can lead to dangerous situations. Inexperience can jeopardize the safety of both pleasure boaters and professionals.
The speed at which pleasure boats traverse the waters can create further risks. Professional vessels often move at consistent speeds to maintain stability and safety. Pleasure boats, on the other hand, may vary widely in speed and maneuverability. This discrepancy can result in unexpected encounters, making it challenging for ocean professionals to predict and react to the actions of recreational boaters swiftly.
Beyond navigation and communication concerns, pleasure boats may also pose environmental risks. Professionals often adhere to strict environmental regulations to minimize their impact on marine ecosystems. In contrast, pleasure boaters may not be as aware of or committed to such guidelines. They are more likely to contribute to pollution and habitat disruption.
The United States Coast Guard reported 4,040 accidents related to recreational boating in 2020. These types of accidents have the potential to affect professionals directly related to the incidents as well as those deployed for rescue and cleanup operations.