Boat­ing safety ad­vo­cates unite for Na­tional Safe Boat­ing Week

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

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, held May 19 to 25. 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,” said 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 up 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,” said Phillips. “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. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.safeboat­ing­cam­paign.com.

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