National Safe Boating Week is back and in full swing for 2018. The week highlighting different aspects of boating safety began May 19 and will run through May 25.
“We are passionate to educate our communities about safety,” said a news release from the National Safe Boating Council. “It saves lives!”
The week kicked off with Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day on May 18. The event, used to highlight the comfortability of wearing a life jacket, drew support from dealerships, marinas and manufacturers alike from across the country. Boating Indsutry Top 100 dealer Nautical Ventures was just one of the many industry members showing their support by wearing life jackets at work.
Nautical Ventures Director of Marketing said that the event is something the dealership does every year in conjunction with their local Coast Guard group and the National Safe Boating Council.
Figures from the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics report 80 percent of boating deaths are due to drowning and 83 percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket. The report also stated that there were 4,463 reported accidents in 2016, a 7.3 percent increase from 2015.
Various groups and dealerships are using the week-long educational celebration to provide advice on boating safely across a multitude of platforms. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water released a tip sheet for three “easy, no-cost ways to be safer on the water.”
A news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that even though boating is a year-round thing in Florida, National Safe Boating Week serves as a traditional start to the season.
“Our officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need the public’s help,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “We want to reach as many boaters as we can to help them understand that most boating accidents are preventable.”
The news release said that boaters need to take steps to remember the smallest of safety precautions, such as wearing life jackets, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, and designating a sober boat operator, that can mean life or death in the result of an accident, or avoiding an accident all together.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a wide array of courses nationwide that provide education to boaters at all levels, from basic fundamentals to advanced skills.
The Safe Boating Campaign website features a group of real-life stories and accounts of people who have been “saved by the jacket” on state-by-state basis.
More resources for safe boating can be found on the National Safe Boating Council’s website.