In what appears to be a tragic boating accident, a Carteret County man’s body was pulled from the water last Thursday afternoon after he struggled to get back into his boat. It appears this boating mishap occurred in the sound near Sharks Tooth Island in Cedar Point around 4 p.m..
According to media sources the U.S. Coast Guard pulled 61 year-old Ronald Metzger of Emerald Isle out of the water. Metzger was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim’s wife and a friend were with him at the time of his death. As eyewitnesses to the fatality, they told police that he was trying to get back into his boat after struggling in the water.
Investigators in Carteret County speculate that Metzger suffered from a heart attack or some other medical condition that may have contributing to his drowning. Although they plan to do an autopsy, authorities working on the investigation say alcohol were involved.
Sadly, hundreds die worldwide each year in boating related accidents, with many of the deaths are related to alcohol use. Eighty percent (80%) of these fatalities are caused by drowning, a major cause of death in the United States. Half of all boating fatalities are alcohol related. Fatality trends are even higher in cold water states like Alaska.
Exposure to the vibration, noise, glare, and motion of boating are factors that can produce fatigue in boaters. These factors are very similar to the impairment of boaters caused by the use of alcohol. Combining the use of alcohol and the normal fatigue caused by boating is a recipe for disaster. The sum of these factors creates a much greater than expected impairment compared to just the individual stress factors alone.
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