National Safe Boating Week 2020

Published on May 16th, 2020

Created in 1958 as National Safe Boating Week, it kicks off each year before Memorial Day Weekend to remind American boaters to be conscientious during this holiday occasion. The 2020 campaign on May 16-22 has the additional threat of COVID-19 which is requiring everyone to raise their standards even further.

“In many areas, the water is open, however, it’s more important than ever that boaters are responsible to limit unnecessary risk not only to themselves, but to other boaters, law enforcement, and first responders,” said Yvonne Pentz, communications director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization of the Safe Boating Campaign.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2018, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“When selecting a life jacket, pick one that fits you snugly and comfortably, and that you will want to wear,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.

Safety tips for boating and social distancing:
• Follow state and local guidance for outdoor recreation.
• Share a float plan with a family member or friend with the details of your trip in the event of an emergency.
• Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Carry all required boating safety equipment such as flares, navigation light, a horn or whistle, and a first aid kit.
• Limit the people aboard your boat to people in your immediate household.
• Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your house.\Maintain safe distance at the fuel dock or loading up at the marina.
• Wash hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer, such as after touching a marina gate or fuel pump.
• Don’t raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others.
• Go right from your house to the boat and back so that you don’t have unnecessary contact with anyone.
• Pack food, water, and other things you may need as restaurants and marina stores may not be open.
• Never boat under the influence.
• No distracted boating and travel at safe speeds.
• Have more than one communication device that works when wet.


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