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National Safe Boating Week runs through Friday

National Safe Boating Week started Saturday and runs through this coming Friday.

National Safe Boating Week started Saturday and runs through this coming Friday.

Boating advocates in the United States and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating.

Agencies that include the Coast Guard, the National Safe Boating Council, the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have teamed up for the “Wear it!” campaign, which encourages boaters to wear their life jackets.

“What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if you end up in the water,” National Safe Boating Council executive director Rachel Johnson said in a statement. “You can have a great time while choosing to always wear a life jacket and being a responsible boater.”

Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2013 and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“Each year hundreds of people lose their lives, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket,” said John Johnson, chief executive officer of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “You never know when there may be a boating mishap, so it’s important that everyone onboard always wears a life jacket.”

The Wear it! campaign is spreading the message that new life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities such as boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.

President Obama issued a proclamation last week declaring the week and encouraging “all Americans who participate in boating activities to observe this occasion by learning more about safe boating practices and taking advantage of boating education.”

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