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Two messages to heed

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In the not-too-distant past, when our waterways were a bit more crowded, we heard more concerns raised about irresponsible boaters tossing large wakes or driving recklessly.

The actions of a few bad apples were not only jeopardizing the safety of others, but they also put boating on the radar of overzealous regulators and waterfront homeowners. And in some instances these cowboys might have been the last straw that caused someone already teetering on getting out of the sport to do so.

This public service announcement from the Water Sports Industry Association and professional wakeboarder Shaun Murray is spot-on. Education — both on the water and in the classroom — is a powerful tool for improving boating safety and promoting growth.

And the following PSA on life jackets from the National Safe Boating Council is another example of promoting safety in a light way.

Getting people more comfortable operating their boats through hands-on training is a great way to increase retention and draw new people to the sport. And basic safety education focusing on everything from life jacket wear to the importance of situational awareness is a foundation for enjoying time on the water.

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