It feels right that National Boating Safety Week falls right before Memorial Day Weekend. We love to spend the long Memorial Day weekend on our boats (with the three essentials: beer, barbecue, and buddies), but many people often overlook the real essentials: PFDs, a charged VHF radio, updated charts, etc. The confluence of National Boating Safety Week and Memorial Day weekend is also significant when you consider the grizzly statistics around boating fatalities, the vast majority of which could have been prevented by simple safety measures.
For instance, we’ve all heard this ridiculous statistic: Over two-thirds of all fatal boating accidents are by drowning, and of those victims, ninety percent were not wearing a life jacket. It’s ridiculous only because it’s so preventable! New low-profile inflatables make wearing your PFD much less comfortable than the old-school foam vests, so what’s your excuse? Another solid statistic: Ninety percent of boating fatalities occur on boats where the operator has boating safety instruction. If you haven’t already done so, consider joining an ASA certification class, or at the very least get the safety basics online with your state boating license, BoaterExam.com.
This week, ASA is getting into the safe sailing spirit by hosting a Facebook and Twitter raffle for one of our brand new auto-inflatable BlueStorm PFDs. Enter your name in either site for a chance to win, and tell your friends! Most importantly, set an example on your boats this weekend. And don’t let anyone who hears the “Nature calling” to get up-close-and-personal with Mother Nature herself!