In observance of National Safe Boating Week May 19-25, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas around the country will host special events to raise awareness of the importance of safe boating, including two events in our area this weekend.
“National Safe Boating Week gives us an opportunity to reflect on the safe operation of boats on the water,” Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore Jim Vass said in a press release. “The incidents we study bring home the need for simple safety precautions while underway.”
The week is dedicated to helping boaters understand the need for boating education and Vessel Safety Checks, as well as the importance of wearing life jackets while boating, officials say.
LIFE JACKETS SAVE LIVES
Brad Simpson, Public Affairs Officer for Division 26, said according to a National Association of Boating Law Administrators report, total boating fatalities in 2010 dropped to 672, the lowest number on record. The study also found that almost 75 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
There were 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million in property damage in 2010 as a result of recreational boating, according to the report. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
“We encourage everyone to wear their life jackets and use a ‘kill switch’ while boating,” Commodore Vass said. “Frequently, we see young children in life jackets, but their parents are not wearing them. All of us need to wear a life jacket to protect ourselves and set a good example for others. I wish the boaters of America a safe boating season.”
SAFE BOATING EVENTS IN OUR AREA
Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas around the country will be hosting special events to reinforce the safe boating message during NSBW, including free vessel safety checks at local marinas, boating safety classes and other special events.
On Saturday, May 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a safe boating course at the Shepherds Fire Department in Mooresville. Click here for details. Also Saturday, the Coast Guard Auxiliary will perform free vessel safety checks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Westport Marina in Denver. CLick here for more information.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the United States Coast Guard. Created by an Act of Congress in 1939, the Auxiliary directly supports the Coast Guard in all missions, except military and law enforcement actions.