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National Safe Boating Week: Sea Tow Foundation and Sea Tow urge boaters to practice safety on water

by Sea Tow Foundation 14 May 18:56 UTC May 18-24, 2024
Sea Tow Foundation © Jeremy Frechette

To kick off National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 18-24, the Sea Tow Foundation and Sea Tow are encouraging boaters to prioritize safety on the water. With more individuals expected to take to the waterways in the coming weeks, both groups emphasize the importance of being prepared and knowledgeable about safe boating practices.

"As we approach the peak boating season, it's crucial for boaters to prioritize safety on the water," said Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. "National Safe Boating Week provides an excellent opportunity for boaters to review safety guidelines and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents and injuries."

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, over 4,000 boating accidents and 600 fatalities occur each year, many of which could have been prevented with proper safety measures in place. National Safe Boating Week serves as a reminder for boaters to refresh their knowledge of procedures and protocols and ensure they have the necessary equipment onboard for a safe and enjoyable experience.

In support of National Safe Boating Week, Sea Tow Captains from around the country are sharing their top tips for boating safety:

  1. "Always have a tarp in your ditch bag. An affordable, 10x10 tarp can be a lifesaver to protect you from rain, wind, cold, sun and even bugs in certain situations." - Captain Christian Orfanello, Sea Tow New Orleans (LA)
  2. "If your boat is running, make sure to stay on board! Jumping out of a running boat can lead to serious injuries, increase the danger of drowning and separate you from your boat, putting you and others at risk."- Captain Eduardo Barreto, Sea Tow Key Biscayne (FL)
  3. "Never allow children or other occupants to bow ride with their legs or bodies hanging over the front of the boat. In many places it's illegal, but in all places, it's a recipe for disaster." - Captain Ramsey Chason, Sea Tow Cape and Islands (MA) and Sea Tow Rhode Island
  4. "Make sure to add the "if found please call stickers" on all SUPs, kayaks and non-motorized boats. If they simply blow away and are found adrift in the water or on a beach, the information on the sticker could prevent a search and rescue operation." - Captain John Bilski, Sea Tow Southern Connecticut
  5. "Always have an anchor ready. When things go wrong on a boat, it can happen quickly and being able to anchor your boat is an important way to stay safe. Your anchor is no good if it is tangled up at the bottom of a storage compartment. Keep the end of the anchor line secured to your boat and anchor from the bow of your boat."- Captain Ethan Maass, Sea Tow South Shore and Sea Tow Boston (MA)
  6. "Make sure you have the proper lighting on your boat and that the lights work, especially if you will be out on the water anytime from dusk to dawn. The red, green and white lights are needed so other boats can see you to avoid a collision." - Captain Jon Gridley, Sea Tow Clarks Hill Lake/Oconee Lake/Lake Sinclair/Lake Allatoona (GA)
"Each of these tips come from knowledgeable and professional captains in the Sea Tow network," added Kristen Frohnhoefer, President of Sea Tow Services International. "By following their recommendations and remaining vigilant on the water, boaters can help ensure a safe and enjoyable boating season for everyone."

One final way to bring boaters some Peace of Mind on the Water ™ is to get or renew your Sea Tow membership before the start of the boating season. With membership, you have the assurance of knowing Sea Tow is standing by to help when the unexpected happens.

Sea Tow and the Sea Tow Foundation encourage boaters to take advantage of the Sea Tow Foundation's nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program where anyone can borrow a life jacket for the day at no charge.

For more information on boating safety tips and resources, visit www.boatingsafety.com.

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