Norway’s police boats, along with its search and rescue boats, responded to 689 accidents and incidents involving pleasure craft in May. That’s a 28 percent increase over last year, and the authorities are concerned.
Some of the increase can be tied to the unusually warm weather that prompted far more boaters to head out on the water in May. Ronny Jåsund Pedersen of the search and rescue service Redningsselskapet told news bureau NTB that the biggest increase was on the Oslo Fjord “where it’s been full of boats with lots of calls for help.”
In some cases, boat owners hadn’t performed a thorough enough inspection of their boats before venturing out to sea, and then suffered breakdowns. Fully 64 boats ran aground, however, and that worries Pedersen.
“Too many people sit at the controls with their noses in a chart or staring at the GPS, instead of using the best navigation instrument we all have, our eyes,” Pedersen told NTB. He urged boatowners to “raise your gaze and watch the sea in front of you.”
Authorities are also urging boaters to pay attention to speed limits, and avoid alcohol. New regulations aim to crack down on offenders of both.