Water sports group to sit on boating safety council

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Water Sports Industry Association has earned a seat on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council, WSIA reported in a recent statement.

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff appointed the WSIA to one of only 21 positions on the Coast Guard-sponsored panel, which helps shape boating laws from the state to the national level.

“This gives our manufacturers the ear of the government, letting them effectively voice suggestions and ideas on regulations that affect our industry,” said Larry Meddock, executive director of the WSIA. “The collective voice of our members makes the WSIA a major player.”

Through NBSAC, the WSIA will work alongside such organizations as the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Office of Boating Safety of the U.S. Coast Guard. Together they discuss issues such as mandatory PFD requirements, licensing for boat drivers, carbon-monoxide concerns and propeller-injury avoidance. The panel’s recommendations often become the basis for regulations supported by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“These leaders are recognizing our industry as a very astute group of recreational boaters, well versed and well educated with valuable insight,” Meddock said. “When any of our manufacturers have a concern, they can now contact the WSIA and together we can take real and meaningful action on it.”

On behalf of the WSIA, Meddock will be attending the two NBSAC summits each year, including the next one this October in Washington, D.C., as well as other meetings and ongoing discussions. NBSAC’s Jeffrey Hoedt, chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, will be attending the WSIA’s annual meeting in February.

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