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Safety at Sea

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The Sea Tow Foundation announced the winners of its National Boating Industry Safety Awards at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas virtual Dealer Week.

The awards — held in conjunction with its North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and sponsored by Kicker Marine Audio — honor boating safety efforts from the previous year.

With six winners, it is the largest awards held to date by the Sober Skipper Advisory Council.

Sea Ray Boats was bestowed with the award for top powerboat manufacturer for the second consecutive year.

“Sea Ray’s messaging clearly shows a corporate commitment to a strong boating safety culture with a special emphasis on new boaters,” said Sea Tow Foundation executive director Gail Kulp in a statement. “They successfully incorporated the Covid-19 pandemic into their safety messaging through multiple platforms including videos, photos, customer emails and social media posts.”

MarineMax — another repeat winner — took honors for Top Marine Retailer with More Than Three Locations with its cautious and successful approach for providing education for both new and experienced boaters by pivoting to the virtual space.

“MarineMax showcased a solid, proven plan for providing boating safety education and they were able to adapt this...While previous years allowed for their educational classes to be conducted in person, their virtual classes attracted as much boating participation if not more than previous years,” said Kulp.

Those honored also included:

• Top Marine Retailer with One to Three Locations: Bridge Marina Inc.

• Top Marine Media Outlet Award: Rapid Media

• Top Marine Marketing and Outreach Award: Freedom Boat Club

• Top Gear & Equipment Manufacturer Award: Fell Marine

In an unprecedented year of sales and introducing new people to boating, Bridge Marina Inc., Rapid Media, Freedom Boat Club and Fell Marine were all individually honored for employing safety programs on site as well as developing comprehensive online campaigns to promote boating safety.

“Our Sober Skipper Advisory Council and Sea Tow Foundation are extremely pleased by the growth of this awards recognition and the quality of the work being done by recreational for-profit, boating industry organization to promote boating safety,” said Kulp. “We also appreciate the hard work of our council members in judging this year’s competition and the support of our sponsor Kicker Marine Audio in making this year’s competition even more outstanding.”

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