The Tragic Death of Naya Rivera: Remembering the Importance of Boating Safety

The Tragic Death of Naya Rivera: Remembering the Importance of Boating Safety
Chances are, if you’ve been online or near a television this week, you’ve heard about the tragic death of Naya Rivera. The Glee actress was simply out for a boat ride with her son when tragedy struck. Despite initial speculation of foul play, her death was proven to be an accidental drowning. Sadly, incidents such as this one are shockingly common. As we mourn the death of Naya Rivera, we want to take this moment to remind our readers how very important it is to comply with boating safety guidelines.

Today, let’s take a closer look at this unfortunate story and then explore ways in which boating safety rules can prevent further accidents.

Examining the Tragic Death of Naya Rivera

Last Wednesday, Naya Rivera rented a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son, Josey. After several hours out on the water, the pair was reported missing. Sadly, the boy was found on the boat alone. A massive search effort ensued for five long days until the young mother’s body was found.

Naya’s son Josey explained what happened to the police. Apparently, they had gone for a swim. It is believed that they were caught in a strong current while in the water. At that point, Naya boosted her son into the safety of their boat. Unfortunately, after he looked back, Naya had disappeared below the surface of the water. That was the last time the boy saw his mother. Officials believe that she had enough energy to save him, but not herself.

According to the police, Josey was wearing a life jacket, which likely contributed to saving his life.

Preventing This From Happening Again

When a celebrity dies, it often helps to draw public attention to a related issue. At times like this, it’s important to take some important lessons from this terribly sad news so that we can prevent it from happening again. For the rest of this post, let’s talk about boating safety steps that we should all take to heart.

Lay Down the Law

Before setting out on the water, you should set some boating safety rules for all of your passengers, both children and adults. These rules should be general, but also designed to eliminate unnecessary risk.

Here are some example rules:

  • No running onboard the vessel
  • When moving, keep your hands and feet in the boat at all times.
  • Only swim in areas that are explicitly designated for swimming.
  • Don’t dive into the water. You never know how deep (or shallow!) it may be.

Check the Weather and Water Conditions

No matter what, always check the weather before hitting the water! Far too many people are overconfident in their swimming abilities. The truth is, the open water can become quite dangerous very quickly.

Being caught in the rain on the open water can easily turn deadly. Unexpected rocky waves and powerful currents can result in a terrible tragedy, like the one we saw with the death of Naya Rivera.

Even worse, lightning can add the danger of electric shock drowning to the mix. Overall, if there’s a storm warning, it’s best to avoid the water.

Active Supervision for Children

Active supervision is crucial for babies and children. Though the death of Naya Rivera is tragic, it is believed that she spent her last moments saving the life of her child.

The fact is, when kids are in or near the water, they will always need active supervision. Put simply, active supervision means making sure that there is an adult who is responsible for keeping a close eye on the kids at all times. A parent or supervisor should not be distracted. This means avoiding phones, books and even conversations with other adults. Children in the water will require your full attention. This is even more true when boating with babies.

Always Use a Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket

Finally, when taking the death of Naya Rivera into account, it’s important to remember that her son was wearing a life jacket. We’ll never know how valuable that may have been for Naya to be able to save her boy’s life.

Young or old, if you’re on the open water, you should wear a life jacket that has been approved by the United States Coast Guard. That stipulation is important, since not all life jackets and floatation devices are created equally. This website for the Coast Guard will provide additional helpful guidelines and detailed information about infant life jackets.

Any loss of life is tragic. However, as responsible guardians, we must take lessons wherever they present themselves. In this case, we can use this heartbreaking tale to remind ourselves of some basic boating safety tips. With luck, this will help to prevent the possibility of this happening again.