(Manassas, VA, Monday, June 26, 2017) - Sport fisherman Hunter Bland and his teammate of the University of Florida Bass Fishing Team were almost seriously injured when they were thrown from their boat due to a hydraulic steering part failure. Now, Hunter has joined with the National Safe Boating Council to remind others about the importance of responsible boating during this summerâ€™s highest-boating traffic weekend â€“ the Fourth of July.
Hunter shares these tips on how to stay safe on the water this upcoming holiday weekend.
MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS WEARING A U.S. COAST GUARD-APPROVED LIFE JACKET. CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT AND SCHEDULE A FREE VESSEL SAFETY CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL U-S COAST GUARD AUXILIARY OR U-S POWER SQUADRONS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT BEFORE HEADING OUT ON THE WATER. BE SURE TO USE AN ENGINE CUT-OFF DEVICE â€“ ITâ€™S A PROVEN SAFETY DEVICE TO STOP THE BOATâ€™S ENGINE SHOULD THE OPERATOR UNEXPECTEDLY FALL OVERBOARD. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE AND DURING YOUR EXCURSION.
LET A LOVED ONE KNOW WHERE YOUâ€™RE BOATING AND WHEN YOU EXPECT TO RETURN. ALWAYS KNOW WHATâ€™S GOING ON AROUND YOU AND TRAVEL AT SAFE SPEEDS. NEARLY A QUARTER OF ALL REPORTED BOATING ACCIDENTS LAST YEAR WERE CAUSED BY OPERATOR INATTENTION OR IMPROPER LOOKOUT. NEVER BOAT UNDER THE INFLUENCE. A B-U-I IS INVOLVED IN ONE-THIRD OF ALL RECREATIONAL BOATING FATALITIES. AND FINALLY, KEEP IN TOUCH. CELL PHONES, E-P-I-R-Bs, PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACONS, AND V-H-F RADIOS CAN HELP RESCUE ASSETS QUICKLY GET TO YOU IN AN EMERGENCY.
For more information, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.