BOCA GRANDE, Fla. — A new public service announcement, titled “Don’t Wreck Your Summer,” released by the Coast Guard in an attempt to improve boating safety is “offensive, pointless, and clearly not an improvement to the goals of the Coast Guard’s boating safety strategic plan, ” according to an MRAA Dealer Alert sent Wednesday.
The PSA – available at www.youtube.com/USCGBoatingSafety – shows a group of young partiers drinking on several boats rafted together when one boat carelessly starts up and drives over a swimmer. “The indifference of the people is not what boaters are about,” the alert warned.
MRAA Chairman Ed Lofgren stated in the Dealer Alert, “At a time when the Coast Guard is emphasizing boaters wearing life jackets, there were no life jackets. At a time when the Coast Guard emphasizes no drinking, there is a lot of drinking. And at a time when the Coast Guard admits deaths by prop strikes are few, we have to ask the Coast Guard why are you casting recreational boating in such a negative light and why are you spending public money in pursuit of reducing boating fatalities by prop strikes when the Coast Guard so strongly emphasizes drowning as the key to improving boating safety statistics?”
In an attempt to halt the PSA, the Dealer Alert requests dealers contact the U.S. Coast Guard expressing their strong opposition to the message.
“We have worked hard for many years with the Coast Guard and boating safety organizations to build a positive image of recreational boating and to promote the key goals of the recreational boating safety department of increasing life jacket wear and reducing drinking on a boat. Let’s not compromise that record and let’s stop this PSA,” added Phil Keeter, MRAA President, in the alert.
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