Drinking and engaging in water sports can be a deadly mix, warns the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Half of all water recreation-related deaths of teens and adults involve alcohol, the NIAAA says.
HealthDay reports that the institute is warning against a number of dangerous scenarios as the weather heats up and more people take to the water. For example, swimmers who drink alcohol may have impaired judgment, and swim out farther than they should. Drunk swimmers in a pool can jump into too-shallow water, or crash into the diving board. Surfers who have been drinking may try to ride a wave that is too difficult for them to handle.
Drinking and boating is an especially dangerous combination. The NIAAA says that alcohol may be involved in up to 60 percent of boating deaths. Several states are taking action to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries from alcohol-related boating accidents. In 2010, there were 126 deaths and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the United States.