(Manassas, VA, Tuesday, June 26, 2018) â€“ High-boating traffic is expected this July 4th as thousands of boaters will be out on the water with family and friends.
Yvonne Pentz, communications director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization for the annual Safe Boating Campaign, says boaters should be focused on safety and always wear a life jacket.
ITâ€™S EASY FOR BOATERS TO GET WHAT WE REFER TO AS â€˜VACATION BRAINâ€™ AND LET SAFETY TAKE THE BACKSEAT. REMEMBER, ALWAYS WEAR A U.S. COAST GUARD APPROVED LIFE JACKET AND NEVER BOAT UNDER THE INFLUENCE. ALCOHOL IS THE TOP CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN RECREATIONAL BOATING ACCIDENTS. THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ARE MAGNIFIED IN THE SUN AND ON THE WATER. BE SURE TO ALWAYS DESIGNATE A SOBER SKIPPER.
FIRST, ALWAYS WEAR A PROPERLY FITTING U.S. COAST GUARD-APPROVED LIFE JACKET. DONâ€™T GET CAUGHT IN THE TRAP OF STORING YOUR LIFE JACKET UNDER YOUR SEAT â€“ ALWAYS WEAR IT! YOUR LIFE JACKET IS YOUR FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. SECOND, LET A LOVED ONE KNOW WHERE YOUâ€™RE BOATING AND WHEN YOU EXPECT TO RETURN. THIRD, IF IN A MOTOR BOAT, ALWAYS USE AN ENGINE CUT-OFF DEVICE. THIS WILL IMMEDIATELY STOP THE BOATâ€™S ENGINE SHOULD THE OPERATOR BE THROWN FROM THE BOAT, PREVENTING PROPELLER STRIKE INJURIES OR EVEN DEATH.
Boat responsibly and always wear a life jacket. For more tips from the Safe Boating Campaign, visit safeboatingcampaign.com.