ER Doctors Provide Safety Tips to Avoid Recreational Injuries

Medical City Denton treated 21 traumatic injuries last Memorial Day Weekend


DENTON – Emergency physicians at Medical City Denton are sharing safety tips in advance of Memorial Day weekend. Last year, the Level II Trauma Center treated 21 traumatic injuries caused by boating, ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis and even skateboards over the three-day holiday weekend. 


“Our proximity between Lake Ray Roberts and Lewisville Lake means we see a lot of people who are involved in boating accidents where alcohol, speed and inattention are a factor,” says Emmanuel Sonaike, MD, emergency room physician and assistant trauma medical director at Medical City Denton. “Practice common safety measures and be accountable for one another. Frequently, the patients we see who suffer severe traumatic boating injuries, such as being struck by propeller, were intoxicated and participating in unsafe activities.” 


Memorial Day is generally recognized as the start of the recreational boating and swimming season. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020 and that 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

Dr. Sonaike recommends that boaters practice safety measures including:

  • Be aware of surroundings. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2020 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
  • Do not drink alcohol while boating. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
  • Wear a life vest. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket – every time. A stowed life jacket is no use in an emergency.
  • Wear an emergency cut-off switch (ECOS). An engine cut-off device, or engine cut-off switch, is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
  • Watch the weather: Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during the excursion.



Medical City Denton is a 208-bed, acute care hospital serving the growing communities in Denton, Wise, Cooke and Montague counties. With a medical team of more than 500 physicians, Medical City Denton offers a broad range of services including a Level II Trauma Center, a Primary Stroke Center and an Accredited Cycle VI Chest Pain Center offering advanced open-heart surgery. “A” rated for safety by the Leapfrog Group and Magnet® recognized for nursing excellence.


Medical City Denton is part of Medical City Healthcare

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