May 16, 2016

National Safe Boating Week - May 21 - 27

National Safe Boating Week is a great way to kick off what will be a fun and safe summer on the water. From May 21 - 27, 2016, the Maine Warden Service asks boaters to pay EXTRA attention to their boating safety behaviors, and to especially ALWAYS wear their lifejackets. Remember…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 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.

Be prepared The Maine Warden Service asks 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 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.

A list of safety requirements can be found here at Maine boater safety requirements, laws, and rules. http://www.maine.gov/ifw/atvsnowmobilewatercraft/watercraft.htm More information related to the National Safe Boating Week campaign can be found here. http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com/