COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the National Safe Boating Council are kicking off the annual Safe Boating Campaign the weekend before Memorial Day with National Safe Boating Week, which is May 18-24.
“Don’t just have your life jacket close by. Wear it,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “If an accident occurs and you suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will help keep your head above water and could save your life.”
Ohio statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of the death in 50 percent of all boating fatalities in 2018. Of those, 75 percent were reported as not wearing their life jackets. The Wear It Ohio campaign encourages boaters and water enthusiasts alike to always wear a life jacket when in or around water.
“We are excited to join forces with partners around the world to encourage everyone to wear a life jacket when on the water and always boat responsibly because the best boating experience is a safe boating experience,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.
The Safe Boating Campaign continues throughout the boating season with local outreach efforts around the world, including “Ready, Set, Wear It!” life jacket events. These family-friendly events teach boaters about the importance of always wearing a life jacket, along with helpful care and maintenance information. Boaters can connect with campaign partners in their local community at safeboatingcampaign.com/become-a-partner.
Boating safety tips
– Take a boating safety course
– Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket
– Watch the weather
– No distracted boating
– Travel at safe speeds
– Never boat under the influence
– Have more than one communication device that works when wet.
Additional information on life jacket safety is available from the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/lifejackets. More safe boating tips and educational resources can be found at safeboatingcampaign.com. The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information about the National Safe Boating Council, visit safeboatingcouncil.org.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.