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National Safe Boating Week encourages boating enthusiasts to brush up on skills
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National Safe Boating Week encourages boating enthusiasts to brush up on skills

  • PublishedMay 17, 2024

The Safe Boating Campaign is a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventures by being responsible.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The days are getting longer and the water is warming up – boating season is here!

The National Weather Service has partnered with the National Safe Boating Council to help promote safe boating practices. National Safe Boating Week runs from May 18 through May 24 this year ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

This observance week is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being responsible.

Here are a few tips to make sure everyone can enjoy a safe, fun day on the waterways.

  • Brush up on boating skills with an online course and make sure your boat has all the essential gear.
    • Take a safe boating course
    • Get a vessel safety check
  • Heading out on the water? Make sure you wear a life jacket and have (and know how to use) other required boating gear.
    • Ask yourself: “What do I need?”
      • Life jackets
      • Visual distress signals
      • Sounds producing devices
      • Locator device (EPIRB or PLB)
      • Fire extinguishers
      • Navigation lights
      • Water to stay hydrated
      • Correct permits and decals
      • Free vessel safety check
      • File a float plan
  • Be sure everyone wears a U.S. Coast Guard approved, properly fitting life jacket while boating. For life jacket fit facts visit:
    • Select the right style of life jacket for your boating activity.
      • Read the label for U.S. Coast Guard approval
      • Ensure sung fit and fasten
      • Select it for wearability
  •  There are many dangers to boating under the influence. Protect your life and others – never BUI!
    • Federal law prohibits boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI) on ALL boats. BUI is involved in 1/3 of all recreational boating fatalities.
      • Impact of cognitive ability
      • Judgement impaired
      • Lack of coordination
      • Slow reaction time
      • Decreased vision
  • Check the latest weather forecast before you leave shore. Hop on over to for the latest updates.
    • Weather forecasts are essential for making boating decisions. Carefully observe the changing weather while you’re out, too. For instance: heavy winds, thunder and lightning, storm surges, cold water boating, extreme heat or UV rays.
  • Did you know the environment may stress your body & mind enough to make the risk of an accident much greater while boating?
    • Overexposure to the sun causes fatigue
    • Motion of the vessel
    • Dehydration
    • Noise of the water, wind, and vessel
    • Alcohol and drug consumption are more hazardous on water
  • Always maintain a proper lookout and be aware of other boaters and the environment while boating.
    • Travel at a safe speed for environmental conditions
    • As a boater, you have a responsibility to all boaters – and all others who enjoy the water – to be safe, courteous, and respectful.

It’s almost National Safe Boating Week – and we can’t wait! 🥳 🌥️ Check back May 18-24 for #safeboating tips you can share on social media! Let’s make this the best summer ever. ☀️

Posted by Safe Boating Campaign on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The campaign offers a variety of free and paid resources to support local boating safety education efforts. Learn more at

Established in 1958, the National Safe Boating Council is the foremost coalition for the advancement and promotion of safer boating through education, outreach, and training. For more information about NSBC programs and professional development opportunities, visit

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