Prepare for a summer of safe boating

  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The 2014 National Safe Boating Week campaign kicks off Saturday, May 17, and runs through May 24 with Coast Guard Auxiliary units around the nation promoting recreational boating safety. The Auxiliary is dedicated to helping boaters understand the need for boating education and Vessel Safety Checks as well as the importance of wearing life jackets while boating.

According to a National Association of the Boating Law Administrators report, over 70 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and 85 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

Wear a life jacket every time you are out on the water.

Make sure that all of your life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved and in good condition with no rips or tears.

Replace worn out jackets so that when needed, they will provide the buoyancy necessary to keep you afloat and alive.

Size matters when it comes to life jacket selection and use.

When boating with children, make sure that they are wearing properly sized and fitted life jackets. Children should not be able to slip out of life jackets when they are in the water.

Don’t operate a vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol use is the leading factor contributing to fatal boating accidents.

Pay attention to your surroundings and boat responsibly. Enroll in an About Boating Safely class offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For information about the 2014 National Safe Boating Week and the North American Safe Boating Campaign, go to SafeBoatingCampaign.com.

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