Safe Boating Tips for Use During Safe Boating Week | Sports & Recreation

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Safe Boating Tips for Use During Safe Boating Week

The North American Safe Boating Campaign kicks off officially with National Safe Boating Week, May 21 – 27, 2011. A sweeping inter-agency campaign throughout Clay and surrounding counties will reach out to recreational boaters to provide informational materials and free vessel safety checks. The following information is provided in advance and local officials welcome your coverage of this important topic and will be available for interview purposes in May. 

According to United States Coast Guard (USCG) statistics on recreational boating accidents and fatalities, Florida is ranked number one. This sobering distinction along with costly fall-out from accidents, property damage, increasing insurance rates, personal injury and deaths runs into millions of dollars and immeasurable grief and family hardship. To prevent drowning and promote safe boating practices, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG AUX) Flotilla 14-5 in Green Cove Springs urges all recreational boaters to wear their life jacket and follow these five life jacket safety tips:

1.) No matter what activity is planned - boating, fishing sailing, etc. - always remember to wear a life jacket every time you are on the water. Accidents on the water can happen in a split second, much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the cause of death in approximately three-fourths of boating fatalities and approximately 84 percent of those who drown are not wearing life jackets.

2.) Make sure your life jackets are USCG-approved. Double check the life jacket is appropriate for the boating activity.

3.) Take time to ensure a proper fit.

4.) Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.

5.) On recreational vessels underway, children under 6 years old must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while the vessel is underway.

Every boater wearing a life jacket is the leading goal of the North American Safe Boating Campaign, which kicks off officially with National Safe Boating Week, May 21 – 27, 2011. A sweeping inter-agency campaign throughout Clay and surrounding counties will reach out to recreational boaters to provide informational materials and free vessel safety checks. The United States Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Clay County Sheriff's Office and USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 14-5 are partnering with you to ensure safe and happy boating experiences in your local waterways. Email Flotilla 14-5 at flotilla14.5@gmail.com or visit us on the web at http://a0701405.uscgaux.info/ for additional information on free Vessel Safety Checks, free Safe Boating classes and opportunities to join our ranks as America's Volunteer Lifesavers.

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