The 2023 National Safe Boating Week runs from May 20 to 26, and to kick it off, US Coast Guard Station Golden Gate and the Coast Guard Auxiliary will host a Water Safety Fair on Saturday, May 20. This is a family-friendly event focusing on recreational boating safety, and with the coming summer, and its being the Memorial Day weekend, we think it’s a good time for a brush-up on safety and other boating skills and information.
“Boating Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to open our doors to the Bay Area boating community,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason McNally, the Operations petty officer assigned to Station Golden Gate. “The San Francisco Bay is the nation’s busiest harbor, with a very diverse boating community. There is always a potential for danger on the water and it’s our job to promote safe boating practices.”
Here are some tips shared by the National Safe Boating Council:
- Take a boating safety course. Gain valuable knowledge and on-water experience in a boating safety course with many options for novice to experienced boaters.
- Check equipment. Schedule a free vessel safety check with local US Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons to make sure all essential equipment is present, working and in good condition.
- Make a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type and registration, and communication equipment on board before you leave the dock.
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket — every time. A stowed life jacket is no use in an emergency.
- Use an engine cut-off switch — it’s the law. An engine cut-off switch is a proven safety device to stop a powerboat engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during the excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2021 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the area and local boating speed zones, and always travel at a safe speed.
- Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
- Keep in touch. Have more than one communication device that works when wet. VHF radios, emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and cell phones can all be important devices in an emergency.
And now for a fun fact! This Friday, May 19, is “Wear Your Life Jacket at Work Day.” The day is part of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being responsible.
“Wear Your Life Jacket at Work Day is a great opportunity to share with others your love for boating,” said Yvonne Pentz, communications director of the National Safe Boating Council, a nonprofit dedicated to helping create a safe boating experience for all boaters and the lead organization of the Safe Boating Campaign. “The NSBC can’t wait to see the creative and fun ways boaters wear their life jacket at work for a chance to win a prize.”
Here’s how to participate:
- Wear a life jacket wherever you work
- Snap a picture
- Post the picture on social media with the hashtag #wearyourlifejacketatworkday
- Tag the Safe Boating Campaign (@boatingcampaign)
Boaters will be randomly selected to win prizes from the Safe Boating Campaign throughout the day.
Well, we’re in, and here’s a pic to get you all inspired.