The North American Safe Boating Campaign is spreading the message of safe and responsible boating this season. Calvert County is home to a wide variety of pleasure boats and at times our waterways are very crowded. They can become a place of chaos and confusion. Not knowing or adhering to the nautical “rules of the road” can lead to disaster. For example, if you don’t wear a life jacket, drinking alcohol or taking drugs while operating a boat can lead to human error or lack of proper judgment.
An average of 700 people die each year in boating related accidents in the United States and most are caused by human error or poor judgment and not because of the boat, equipment or the environment. Many who drowned would be alive today if they had worn their life jacket. Today’s life jackets are more comfortable and attractive than the old styles and deserve a second look by the boating public.
Knowledge and skills are important in reducing human error and improving judgment. Once people become aware of risks, they are more likely to take measures to protect themselves, their family and friends.
The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed the week of May 18 be known as National Safe Boating Week and advocated year-round efforts to promote safe boating and urge all those who boat to “Wear It” and practice safe boating habits.
We look forward to another great campaign, leveraging the successful messages of the past and adding new tactics to reach an ever-broadening audience of boating participants. Here is a preview of this year’s campaign:
• Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day (May 15, 2015)
• Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day (May 16, 2015)
• National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22, 2015)
• Operation Dry Water (June 26-28, 2015)
• Boater survivor stories, contests and social media campaign
• Public service announcement campaign
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon