The Michigan Boating Industries Association is contacting members of Congress to share what it says is the marine community's outrage at the "intent of the U.S. Coast Guard to launch a misguided and damaging advertising campaign that implies boating is dangerous when in fact boating has a strong safety record that continues to improve."
Last week at the American Boating Congress, a representative from the Coast Guard noted that fatality and injury rates from boating have remained flat for the last decade and it wanted to do more to see those figures decline.
Many in the industry objected to an ad that appeared implying boating would cause serious injuries or death. That ad was later taken off the Coast Guard's website.
Industry representatives at the event also noted that although the number of deaths and injuries may have flattened, the number of participants in boating has risen throughout the decade.
"We will tell Congress that they must require the Coast Guard to work with the industry, boaters and a competent advertising agency to design an effective boating safety campaign that highlights the importance of safety and responsible behavior rather than scare boaters away from a safe and treasured recreational activity," MBIA president John Ropp said in a statement.
"These are taxpayer dollars at work and more care should be taken on how they are spent," he added. "Not only is this campaign misguided, it is also damaging to an important industry and a beloved American pastime."