Safety Reminders for Labor Day Weekend

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Safe Boating Campaign Shares Safety Reminders for Labor Day Weekend

MANASSAS, Va. (AUGUST 25, 2020) – As the official end of summer approaches with Labor Day weekend, the Safe Boating Campaign, a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating, reminds boaters to follow safety guidelines, always wear a life jacket and continue social distancing.

“Boating continues to be safe and popular pastime for many during the global pandemic, and as the summer winds down, we encourage everyone to be responsible while on the water and at the dock,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council and lead organization for the Safe Boating Campaign.

The Safe Boating Campaign shares these safety reminders:

  • Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities.
  • Check equipment. Make sure you have and know how to use all the essential equipment.
  • Make a float plan. Let family and friends know where you’re going and when you will return.
  • Use an engine cutoff device. An engine cutoff device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
  • Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during your excursion.
  • Know what’s going on around you at all times. A quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2019 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
  • Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Familiarize yourself with local boating speed zones and always travel at a safe speed.
  • Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, EPIRB or personal locator beacon, and VHF radios can all be important devices in an emergency.
  • Remember social distancing. Stay 6-ft apart, wash hands frequently, and wear your mask until you’re out on the water away from others.

This holiday weekend, boating safety advocates emphasize that boaters and passengers should wear a life jacket at all times while boating. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 86% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket in 2019. The Safe Boating Campaign recommends every passenger choose a life jacket that’s comfortable and is appropriate for the activity.

Boaters may see a new label on the inside of new life jackets with a performance level icon versus the old “type” system life jacket label. The new label does not make life jackets with the old label obsolete. Boaters can continue to use their life jacket as long as it is in good condition, fits properly and is appropriate for the activity. Learn more about the new life jacket label at

About the National Safe Boating Council 

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) is a national catalyst for recreational boating safety and organizer of the Safe Boating Campaign, with support from boating safety advocates around the world. The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information about the NSBC and its programs, please visit


Media Contacts:

Yvonne Pentz, National Safe Boating Council,, 440-670-1294