Boater’s World to promote Coast Guard initiative

BELTSVILLE, Md. – Boater’s World has committed to promoting the U.S. Coast Guard’s new public education and awareness initiative, “You’re in Command,” the marine retail chain reported in a recent statement.

The initiative is designed to reduce fatalities, injuries, associated healthcare costs, and property damage due to recreational boating accidents and asks boat owners and operators to take personal responsibility for their own behavior on the water.

Boater’s World will promote “You’re in Command” through its retail outlets, catalogs, and boat show appearances, identifying safety equipment with the “You’re in Command” logo, offering free boating safety workshops and seminars under the “You’re in Command” banner, distributing “You’re in Command” materials in its stores, and providing a link from to the “You’re in Command” section of the Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety’s Web site.

“’You’re In Command’ matches our own philosophy that a boater should be properly equipped and educated before taking to the water, and then take personal responsibility for operating his or her boat in the safest way possible,” commented Juan Mendez, general manager of Boater’s World Marine Centers, Inc.

Four steps to boating safety

“You’re in Command. Boat Safely!” encompasses four steps boaters should take to be safe and have an enjoyable time on the water.

Step one is to get a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) every year. This program is a complete bow-to-stern check of vital safety equipment and supplies, available for all recreational boats up to 65 feet in length. The Vessel Safety Check is performed free of charge by qualified Vessel Examiners from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons. Boater’s World said it will sponsor VSC events at its 110-plus stores and help boaters prepare by identifying equipment and supplies required to pass the VSC with “You’re in Command” labels.

Step two is to take a safe boating course such as America’s Boating Course (ABC). ABC is available on the Internet, on CD-ROM, or in the classroom. This course was produced in a joint venture between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons and will be available at all Boater’s World stores.

Step three is to always wear a life jacket while on the water. Drowning causes the majority of recreational boating fatalities, and most drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket, according to the statement. Boater’s World carries a variety of Coast Guard-approved life jackets, and Boater’s World associates are trained to help boaters select life jackets for adults and children.

Step four is to never boat under the influence (BUI). The effects of alcohol, drugs, and even prescription medications are greatly increased by waterborne “stressors” such as wind, sun, noise, and vibration, and alcohol has been found to be a factor in at least 39 percent of boating fatalities, according to Boater’s World.

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