National Safe Boating Week begins May 16

CLEVELAND – In recognition of National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, 2009, the Ninth Coast Guard District is emphasizing boating safety and will be reminding Great Lakes’ boaters throughout the week with a series of boating safety initiatives.

In conjunction with the National Safe Boating Council’s “Wear it! Always wear your life jacket!” Campaign, the Ninth Coast Guard District will reinforce boating safety with the following daily initiatives:

May 18: Encouraging the proper use of marine band radios and signaling devices, and filing float plans.

May 19: Encouraging the use of emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs).

May 20: Encouraging boaters to schedule a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) with and register for a Boater Safety Course through the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

May 21: Life jacket education and encouraging boaters to “always” wear their life jackets while boating.

May 22: Education on the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI).

“Saturday is the kickoff of National Safe Boating Week, but boating safety is a year-round responsibility for all boaters. The Great lakes can be a wonderful place to recreate, but they can also be very unforgiving waters,” said Capt. David R. Callahan, Chief of Staff, Ninth Coast Guard District. “Great Lakes boaters should always wear a personal floatation device, outfit their boats with the proper safety equipment, utilize vessel safety checks and boating safety courses provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and never boat under the influence of alcohol.”

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