17 May NORTH FLORIDA MARINE ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SAFE BOATING WEEK AND BOATER SKIP DAY
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (May 9, 2023) – The North Florida Marine Association reminds all boaters, fishermen, and water enthusiasts that National Safe Boating Week will be held from May 20-26, 2023. The annual week-long event encourages all boaters to brush up on boating safety skills and to prepare for the upcoming boating season. This observance week is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventures by committing to safety, responsibility, and education.
The National Safe Boating Council recommends these tips for boaters:
- Take a boating safety course. Gain valuable knowledge and on-water experience in a boating safety course, with many options for novice to experienced boaters.
- Check equipment. Schedule a free vessel safety check with local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons to make sure all essential equipment is present, working, and in good condition.
- Make a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type and registration, and communication equipment on board.
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket—every time. A stowed life jacket is no use in an emergency.
- Use an engine cut-off device—it’s the law. An engine cut-off device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing and frequently during the excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents are caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the area and local boating speed zones, and always travel at a safe speed.
- Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
- Keep in touch. Have more than one communication device that works when wet. VHF radios, emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and cell phones can all be important devices in an emergency.
NFMA is also proud to announce the return of the largest boat event in Northeast Florida—Boater Skip Day. Each year, hundreds of boaters take a once-a-year opportunity to trade a day of work for a day making memories on the water. This year’s Boater Skip Day takes place on Friday, June 2 at 9:00 a.m. Boaters are encouraged to meet up at Marker 24 at Bayard Point, just south of the Shands Bridge.