Maine Marine Patrol, Warden Service and US Coast Guard Highlight Boating Safety
Augusta - National Safe Boating Week, May 18 to May 24, 2019, is a great way to kick off a fun and safe summer on the water. The Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard are using this occasion to remind boaters to pay extra attention to their boating safety behaviors, and to especially always wear their lifejackets.
Wear your life jacket
Although May is not considered to be the height of boating activity here in Maine, Safe Boating Week provides a great opportunity to remind those who are already recreating on the water to remember these important tips. Remember the dangers of springtime water temperatures. If you think you have enough time to get to your life jacket before a crash or incident, think again.
The Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard remind all boaters to properly prepare their watercraft before heading out on the water. Be sure that all necessary safety devices are both on your boat and in good serviceable condition. In addition to life jackets, safe boaters should have working navigation lights, sound signaling devices, and properly displayed current registration numbers. A thorough check of lifejackets, fire extinguisher and flare expiration dates should be done to be sure they are in working order. Make a trip itinerary and stick to it, tell others if you deviate from that itinerary, and most of all, wear your life jacket.
What is the goal of National Safe Boating Week?
The goal of the National Safe Boating Week is to heighten awareness among recreational boaters of the importance of ALWAYS wearing a life jacket. This includes informing boaters that they have options when it comes to life jackets, such as the new inflatable versions that offer comfort and a complete range of movement. There are no excuses for not wearing a life jacket. For children and many adult activities on Maine waters, it's the law.
We encourage all media to use the following talking points that include recent data and enforcement goals related to Operation Dry Water. 2019 Safe Boat Week Messages:
•In Maine, all children 10 and under must wear a lifejacket.
•A good time to remind boaters to consider taking a boater education course.
•Let someone know where you plan to go boating and leave a trip plan with family.
•Dress for cold water temperatures. Maine's ocean and inland waters are very cold this time of year. It is recommended that paddlers wear dry suits when water temps are less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or wet suit when temps are between 50 and 60 degrees.
•Alcohol is a contributing factor in one-third of all boating related fatalities, according to the US Coast Guard.
•Wear your lifejacket. Statistics show that most people who unexpected fall from a watercraft without a lifejacket will die. If you think you have time to get to your lifejacket in an emergency, think again.