Special week reminds boaters about safety on the water

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The summer brings out more people driving boats because of the heat and a special week leading up to Memorial Day wants to make sure everyone stays safe.

The week of May 19 through 25 is National Safe Boating Week. Sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, it's a worldwide effort to encourage safe boating and encouraging people to always wear a life jacket while on the water.

According to the NSBC, drowning was the reported cause of death in 80 percent of all boating fatalities in 2016. Of those, 83 percent were reported as not wearing their life jackets. Only 13 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction, the council stated.

They also offered some tips to stay safe on the water.

  • Wear a life jacket and make sure it's U.S. Coast Guard approved. It's also important to make sure it fits.
  • Be aware of state boating laws
  • Take a boating safety course sponsored by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators.
  • If possible, schedule a vessel safety check with the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  • Know your boat's capacity
  • File a float plan with someone you trust that includes details about the trip, the boat, communication equipment and emergency contacts.
  • Make sure to follow navigation rules
  • Don't drink and boat.

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