NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK

What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if someone ends up in the water. Boating safety advocates across the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating, including consistent life jacket wear every time boaters are on the water, during National Safe Boating Week, held from May 20-26, 2017.

From family friendly events at marinas to vessel safety checks, this week is packed with life-saving messages about responsible boating. National Safe Boating Week is the launch of the 2017 North American Safe Boating Campaign. This yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket wear by recreational boaters. Wearing a life jacket is the simplest life-saving strategy for safe recreational boating.

Each year hundreds of people lose their lives, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2016, and that 83 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

New life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.

Throughout the summer, the North American Safe Boating Campaign will remind boaters of the importance of boating safely, including consistent life jacket wear, boating sober, knowing navigational rules and having a proper lookout. Partners will host local events, teach classes, offer on-water training, distribute educational materials, and perform free vessel safety checks.

The North American Safe Boating Campaign offers a variety of free and paid resources to support local boating safety education efforts. Public service announcements are also available.