It is National Safe Boating Week and we at the Personal Watercraft Industry Association would like to remind you that all of us – no matter what type of vessel you may operate – are responsible for safety on the water. Boating statistics show, year after year, that most boating accidents are preventable. That is why we strongly encourage you to take the following steps to improve safety on the water and help make sure that a day of boating starts and ends well:
1. Always wear a lifejacket (and wetsuit bottoms in the case of personal watercraft);
2. Take a boating safety education course before leaving the dock or marina (even if it isn’t required by state law, or if you’ve been boating for years);
3. Learn and follow all local navigation rules;
4. Stay sober and never boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
5. Get a vessel safety inspection (offered free by many organizations, it assures boats are equipped with proper safety gear and the vessel is in “sea worthy” condition)
Boating safety courses are available through many organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (http://nws.cgaux.org/) and the U.S. Power Squadrons (http://www.usps.org/). Boaters should contact their state boating law agency (http://www.nasbla.org/) for more information about where and when these courses are available.
Personal Watercraft Industry Association