Safe Boating Campaign Made Waves in 2017

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2017 was an exciting year for the Safe Boating Campaign! It continued to receive national attention for its award-winning tactics to communicate boating safety and life jacket wear, earning national recognition from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, PR Daily and PR News with nine awards. Highlights of the 2017 campaign include:

  • A new video PSA featuring Hunter Bland and Conner Young of the University of Florida Bass Fishing Team. The teammates took all the proper safety precautions, but were ejected from their boat while going approximately 55 mph due to a hydraulic steering part failure during a tournament. “I’ve been boating for my entire life, and never once did I think something like this could happen to me,” Bland said. “I want to make sure everyone knows what saved my life to try and help others. If it wasn’t for my engine cut-off device and my life jacket, I wouldn’t be here today.” Thank you to Eckerd College Waterfront Program in St. Petersburg, Fla. for allowing us to film portions of the PSA on your campus, and to Bland Brothers Films via Storyful for providing original footage from the boat incident captured by Bland’s GoPro action camera. The PSA is available in 30 and 75 second versions. Watch and share the PSA:
  • The campaign received media attention around the U.S. including mentions on The Weather Channel leading up to the Fourth of July, online feature with Associations Now, and national TV coverage with Daytime TV and The Lifestyle List. There were numerous trade and local media placements, totaling more than 6,600 print, radio television and online media hits sharing boating safety messages with the public. Wow!
  • Grassroots activities continued to grow in support of the campaign as a result of the incredible work performed by the Grassroots Outreach Program recipients, from the creation of new life jacket loaner stands to popular community events. In support of the National Recreational Boating Safety Strategic Plan, the NSBC provided resources to more than 20 grassroots organizations nationwide in their efforts to support the campaign and increase the wearing of life jackets. Allan H. Treman Marina in Ithaca, New York reached over 300 people regarding their new life jacket loaner stand, with many season boaters and visitors borrowing the life jackets during the summer season. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 054-09-09 serving the Burlington, North Carolina area participated in eight public education events about boating and water safety, sharing information and resources about the Safe Boating.

The Safe Boating Campaign will continue to grow on its past successes, and offer even more resources in 2018. For more information about the campaign, please contact NSBC’s Communications Director Yvonne Pentz at