Boating and water safety advocates around the world have teamed up again this year to promote and educate people on the importance of responsible boating and wearing a life jacket while on the water during National Safe Boating Week, which begins today. National Safe Boating Week is the official kickoff of the annual Safe Boating Campaign, now in its 60th year.
“We believe wearing a life jacket is the simplest way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones while enjoying a day on the water,” says Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council and lead organization for the Safe Boating Campaign. “We are excited to kick off this year’s National Safe Boating Week with a number of educational and fun activities to promote responsible boating and the importance of always wearing a life jacket.”
Boating safety advocates are encouraged to plan a local event in their community using a variety of free and paid resources from the Safe Boating Campaign to support boating education efforts. Local events and activities may include boating safety classes, on-water training, and free vessel safety checks. Throughout the week, boaters are encouraged to share photos and tips on social media with #safeboatingweek and #safeboating.
The National Safe Boating Council has also teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service to share boating and water safety public service announcements during National Safe Boating Week.
Each year hundreds of people lose their lives in boating incidents, with 80 percent of those deaths caused by drowning. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, of those deaths, 83 percent are reported as not wearing their life jackets.
“It’s tempting to not wear a life jacket while on the water, especially on nice days,” Phillips says. “But whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, there’s never an excuse not to wear a life jacket because accidents can happen in an instant.”
The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.