NAS Patuxent River held a summer safety stand down for personnel May 23 prior to the Memorial Day Weekend. The “101 Critical Days of Summer” spans the period from Memorial Day to Labor day, and historically shows a spike in off-duty mishaps and deaths among Sailors and Marines.

Briefs and demonstrations presented at the safety stand down included those on chemical dependency, heat-related injury prevention, and a high-voltage electrical safety demonstration from the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.

Also included was a real-time demonstration on the effects of alcohol on individuals of disparate weights, including a sobriety check demonstration from Pax River police personnel.

Each year from FY13 through FY18, the Navy lost an average of 13 Sailors in off-duty mishaps,where alcohol is a common denominator.

Since FY14, there have been nearly 78 off-duty mishaps in the Navy where alcohol use was confirmed or suspected. Alcohol consumption slows your reaction time and impairs both your judgment and vision.

From FY14 to FY18, the Navy also lost eight sailors to off-duty, water related activities.

The U.S. Coast Guard ranks operator inattention and inexperience, improper lockout, excessive speed, and machinery failure as the top five contributing factors in recreational boating mishaps; however, when it comes to fatal boating mishaps, alcohol use is the leading contributing factor. Be aware that boating under the influence on waterways is illegal and just as dangerous as DUI on a roadway.

Enjoy your summer but keep safety in mind and, always, drink responsibly.

For more information on staying safe this summer, visit the Naval Safety Center website at https://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/.