National Safe Boating Council presents IBWSS Communication Awards

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) announced the 2022 recipients of the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS) Communication Awards. This year marks the 25th anniversary of IBWSS, a global event dedicated to education, awareness, and networking for the advancement of boating and water safety.

“We were impressed with the number of leaders in the boating community doing extensive outreach all over the country. This year brought particularly strong and creative awareness initiatives that made a significant impact,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the NSBC. 

Award recipients have been recognized in the following categories: Community Impact, Digital, Giveaways, Print, PSAs, and Research. Note that there are no rankings within categories; winners are listed in alphabetical order.

The 2022 Communication Award recipients by category:

  • Community Impact: The Ashleigh Iserman Boating Safety Foundation walked 78 miles to their state capital to pass a minimum age personal watercraft operation law, held an annual walk to share their story and raise safety awareness, promoted boating safety classes at schools and in local communities, and installed life jacket loaner boards.
  • Community Impact: With an audience of over 70,000 members, Freedom Boat Club has been proactive with their “Boat Safe. Have Fun!” campaign and offered free unlimited training to all members, a mandatory orientation course with one-to-one classroom, on the water training with a certified captain, and enforcement of a sober skipper program.
  • Community Impact: Into the Outdoors Network has impacted millions with their “Safe and Smart Boating” two-part television show broadcast and a classroom video series that empowered teens to take an assertive role in boating safety practices.
  • Digital: The Arizona Game and Fish Department reached across Arizona with their “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day – Remote Style!” campaign. In an upbeat, creative video, they raised awareness for hundreds of thousands of followers and reminded them “to wear that life jacket no matter which water sport you’re enjoying!”
  • Digital: The Mason County Sheriff’s Office released daily video messages for major boating safety weeks and holidays during their “Boating and Water Safety Facebook Campaign” with a goal to reduce the number of drownings in the County.
  • Digital: Mustang Survival produced a video series that interviewed individuals with real stories to raise awareness of wearing a life jacket. Their series “Survival Stories” is also featured in blog posts to further reach the community.
  • Giveaways: Through social media and in-person giveaways to adults seen wearing life jackets, The Corps Foundation distributed beach towels and dry bags sporting the “Life Jackets Worn… Nobody Mourns” campaign. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees nationwide average 1.6 million water safety face-to-face educational interactions per year between park rangers and visitors.
  • Print: The Alaska Office of Boating Safety developed a “Paddlecraft Requirement Summary Postcard Series” to concisely share and inform new and current paddlers of safety information, requirements, and proper equipment.
  • PSA with National Impact: Discover Boating created a “Boating Safety Video Series” with the goal of educating as many first-time boat buyers as possible on safe boating practices. They partnered with Progressive Insurance to create an attention-grabbing, educational series, receiving over one million views on YouTube, and generating over 350 million impressions across platforms.
  • PSA with Local Impact: Idaho Parks & Recreation Boating Program launched a “Mind Your Wake Radio PSA” to mitigate the negative impacts of wakes on fellow waterway users and property owners by targeting a primary audience of males age 35-64 across Idaho via strategic radio placement.
  • PSA for Audience Impact: The Water Sports Foundation created the “Boating Safety Outreach for Boaters w/ Limited English Proficiency” campaign, and delivered over 30 million impressions during a two-flight campaign, in which crucial boating safety material and messages were shared in Spanish across the Hispanic Communications Network. 
  • PSA Series: America’s Boating Channel generated over 1.5 million views for “Season Five,” which highlighted ten key boating safety topics. The target audience for their series was novice recreational boaters who are most in need of boater education.
  • Research: The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators released their “BUI Report Part II” in 2021 to share information about boating under the influence, the dangers of combining alcohol with waterway activities, and what can be done to prevent on-water tragedies involving alcohol.

To learn more about the IBWSS Communication Award recipients, visit

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