Coast Guard reminds boaters to “Wear It!” during National Safe Boating Week

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PITTSBURGH — The Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, along with the National Safe Boating Council, will kick off the National Safe Boating Week campaign on three different fronts, Saturday.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh and the Coast Guard Auxiliary will perform vessel safety examinations at the Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club on Neville Island Saturday at 9 a.m. and the Fox Chapel Yacht Club at 9 a.m., Sunday. Club officers and members are aiming to have 100 percent of their boats successfully pass the free vessel safety check offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel exam team.

Additionally, at Cabela’s in Wheeling, W. Va., the Auxiliary will be setting up booths and will have the support of the “Coastie” boating safety robot and its operators to entertain and educate young and old alike. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and ends in the afternoon.

With summer fast approaching, families and friends are anxious to enjoy time in the sun and on the water, boating, fishing, paddling and more. During all recreational water activities it’s important to remember safety precautions.

Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in almost three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2012, and the 84 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.

“Simply put, boating responsibly and wearing life jackets can save lives,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Baoting Council. “Accidents on the water happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. It’s important that everyone consistently wears a life jacket while on the water.”

For more information on the National Safe Boating Campaign visit their website.

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