Always wearing a life jacket is one of the simplest life-saving strategies for recreational boaters, remind boating safety advocates for National Safe Boating Week, this upcoming May 16-22, 2015.
National Safe Boating Week is the official launch of the 2015 North American Safe Boating Campaign. The yearlong campaign promotes boating safety and voluntary, consistent wear of life jackets by recreational boaters through the national theme, Wear It!
“What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if you end up in the water,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization for Wear It! “You never know when there may be a boating mishap, so it’s important that everyone onboard always wears a life jacket.”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2013, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
“New life jackets are much more comfortable and lightweight than the bulky orange style many boaters know,” said John Johnson, chief executive officer of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “Inflatable life jacket options allow for mobility and flexibility during boating activities like fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.”
Throughout the campaign, Wear It! will also remind boaters of the importance of boating sober and knowing navigational rules, such as operator’s responsibility, maintaining a proper lookout, safe speed, crossing, meeting head-on and overtaking situations. For recreational boaters looking to learn more, the National Safe Boating Council offers a free interactive resource about basic navigation rules, boatoncourse.com. Also, campaign partners will host local events, teach classes, offer on-water training, distribute educational materials, and perform free vessel safety checks.
Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and Canadian Safe Boating Council with the National Safe Boating Council. It is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.