Those first few warm weekends out on the water are an exhilarating time for boaters. In the excitement, don’t forget to review safety rules and regulations.
Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed a proclamation establishing May 17-23, 2014 as Georgia Safe Boating Week. As part of the nationwide National Safe Boating Week, Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division is working with partner organizations, such as the National Safe Boating Council to encourage safe and responsible boating, including the practice of always wearing a life jacket, and being alert and aware while on the water.
“Accidents on the water happen too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” said Captain Mike England. “It is important that instead, everyone consistently wears a life jacket and that you boat responsibly.”
If you think that a life jacket is orange and bulky, you have not seen what is on the shelves now. Innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating and fishing are much cooler in warm weather.
U.S. Coast Guard nationwide statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2012, and that 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. That’s why boating safety advocates continue to push for increased and consistent life jacket wear on the water.
About the National Safe Boating Council
The National Safe Boating Council represents over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. Visit www.SafeBoatingCampaign.comfor campaign materials and additional safe boating resources.
About Safe Boating in Georgia
For more information about boating in Georgia, visit www.goboatgeorgia.com/boating . Several videos on boating-related laws in Georgia, including the boater education requirement effective July 1, are available at www.georgiawildlife.com/new-boating-regulations-2013.
Pictured in the photo (left to right):
- Representing the Coast Guard Auxiliary – Ed McGill, State of Georgia Liaison; Dave Fuller, Seventh District Captain North; Nan Ellen Fuller, Seventh District Division 2 Commander
- Georgia Governor and First Lady – Nathan and Sandra Deal
- Representing Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Captain Mike England
- Representing the Power Squadron – Douglas Townes, Commander Atlanta Sail and Power Squadron