ODNR JOINS EFFORT TO INCREASE BOATING SAFETY AWARENSS|
National Safe Boating Week Observed May 22-28 in U.S. and Canada
COLUMBUS, OH - The importance of wearing a life jacket is being
promoted during National Safe Boating Week, May 22-28, by boating
organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Ohio Department
of Natural Resources (ODNR).
"The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the traditional start of
summer recreational season in Ohio and provides our most significant
opportunity to focus public awareness on boating safely," said Ken Alvey,
chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. "Most boating fatalities are
preventable if boaters wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket and
observe other safe boating practices."
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported 750 boating-related fatalities
across the country during 2002, including 524 drowning deaths. Eighty-five
percent of those victims who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
"Boating professionals and others in the marine industry know that
life jackets save many lives each year," said Alvey. "Our goal and that of
our boating partners is to increase public awareness of that fact and
prevent unnecessary boating fatalities."
As part of its observance, the ODNR Division of Watercraft and its
statewide boating partners are conducting free vessel safety checks at
public boat ramps, providing boating safety education courses and
distributing boating safety information through the ODNR web page at
In addition to properly wearing an approved life jacket, boaters are
encouraged to enjoy safe boating by observing these safety tips:
* Get a free boat safety inspection.
* Take a boating education course.
* Avoid alcohol consumption while boating.
* Keep a proper lookout and always stay alert while boating.
* Pay attention to "rules of the road" during all boating activities.
* Do not extend beyond your boating skills.
* Observe the safety and well being of all boat passengers.
* Be prepared for an emergency and to render assistance if needed.
The 2004 National Safe Boating Week-North American Safe Boating
Campaign is led by the non-profit National Safe Boating Council. Among the
national campaign partners are the USCG, the National Association of Boating
Law Administrators, the Canadian Safe Boating Council, Canadian Coast Guard,
USCG Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons and the nation's 50 state boating