For many boaters, being out on the water is a chance to kick back, relax and have a good time. Whether they’re out fishing, tubing, wakeboarding or just enjoying a beautiful fall day, boating can be a great way to blow off steam and have some fun.
However, it’s important to remember that captains have a responsibility to keep their passengers and other boaters safe when out on the water. That includes staying sober while behind the wheel.
To remind boaters of the dangers of boating under the influence, the Sea Tow Foundation and Freedom Boat Club announced the ‘Sober Skipper’ program at the November Freedom Boat Club Annual Meeting in Fort Myers, Fla.
Freedom Boat Club is part of 150 groups in 145 cities across 29 states that collaborate with the Sea Tow Foundation to promote the Sober Skipper Program in local communities.
When boaters leave the dock, the person piloting the boat for the day is encouraged to take a ‘Sober Skipper” wrist band and wear it. The two boating organizations will collaborate nationwide to help build awareness about BUIs by distributing yellow “Sober Skipper” wristbands to Freedom Boat Club members and their local communities.
“We are thrilled to participate in the Sober Skipper campaign this year,” said Matt O’Hara, Freedom Boat Club Lake George. “Our members have really embraced wearing the wristbands and promoting the importance of designating a sober skipper to enhance both the safety and enjoyment of being out on the water."
Wind, vibration, noise and even the sun’s rays can intensify the effects of alcohol, impairing balance and coordination – two things that can already be hard to maintain on a boat, even without alcohol involved. So, if you're the skipper, stay alert, be responsible and don't drink alcohol when in the captain’s chair.
“Having fun and being responsible do mix when boating with family and friends,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Michael Wesolowski. “Enjoy your time on the water and make it home safely, but before leaving the dock, take the pledge and decide who will be the Sober Skipper.” Find out how you can support the effort at http://soberskipper.com.