May 16, 2019

MDIFW NEWS: National Safe Boating Week - Saturday, May 18 to Friday, May 24

Editor's Note: Media Interested in a boating ride on Saturday, May 18 with a Maine Game Warden should contact Corporal John MacDonald at 207-557-0818

AUGUSTA, Maine -- National Safe Boating Week is a great way to kick off what will be a fun and safe summer on the water. From May 18th to the 24th, 2019, the Maine Warden Service, Maine Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard ask boaters to pay extra attention to boating safety, and to especially always wear lifejackets, as even the most experienced boaters can fall victim to boating crashes.

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 boating 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.

Be prepared 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 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.

Please use these links for more information related to the National Safe Boating Week campaign and other Boating Safety Tips.

Media ride-along and contact information- We are inviting media for ride-along opportunities with a Game Warden or Marine Patrol Officer Saturday, May 18th. Any news outlets wishing to participate in a ride along are being asked to RSVP Corporal or phone at (207) 557-0818 or Jeff Nichols (DMR) at or (207) 592-7301. We encourage all media to please use the following talking points that include recent data and enforcement goals related to Operation Dry Water.

2019 Safe Boat Week - Please Remember:

  • 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. Maines 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.