National Safe Boating Week starts Saturday

National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) is the launch of the annual North American Safe Boating Campaign.

The marine industry is gearing up for National Safe Boating Week, a campaign that urges boaters to wear life jackets and participate in responsible boating practices that is set to begin on Saturday.

National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) is the launch of the annual North American Safe Boating Campaign, a yearlong effort focused on spreading the message of boating safety and the critical importance of always wearing a life jacket on the water. The national theme is Wear It!

“It’s tempting to boat without wearing a life jacket, especially on nice days,” National Safe Boating Council executive director Rachel Johnson said in a statement.

The council is the lead organization of Wear It! “A life jacket not worn can’t save your life. Always Wear It!”

Marine companies are also participating. Emergency readiness and response company McMurdo is offering a free SmartFind S20 AIS MOB with the purchase of a SmartFind G5 GPS EPIRB next week.

A McMurdo Wear It! blog post by Bill Eastwood, McMurdo marine products sales manager for the Americas, reminds boaters that: “Drowning is the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities — and 84 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2014.”

“The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know,” Eastwood said. “Even better news is that boaters can add an AIS Man Overboard transmitter to their life jacket. Automatic Identification Systems are designed to be capable of providing information about the ship, or in this case the person, to other ships and to coastal authorities, to aid in a man-overboard search, as well as tracking and collision avoidance.”

Brunswick Corp. will help spread the word about elements of safe boating, including wearing a life jacket every time a boater is on the water, using products and services that promote safe boating and seeking proper training to educate and inform boaters.

Participating Brunswick marine brands will feature a sweepstakes on their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram). The prize consists of a safety kit that features Attwood's bailer safety kit, a multifunction LED sport light, a first aid kit, a telescoping emergency paddle and a 40-liter dry bag, along with two Stearns personal flotation devices and a Mercury emergency-shutoff marine lanyard.