Boating-Safety Is A Priority For All Seasons

The North American Safe Boating Campaign wants to get something off its chest and onto yours: a life jacket! May 18 is Wear-Your-Lifejacket-To-Work Day.

Although the official dates of National Safe-Boating Week are Saturday, May 19 through Friday, May 25 this year, it is crucial that on-the-water boating safety be a priority all year long, 24/7, during all seasons.

Boating Safety
Photo Courtesy Margie and John Anderson
SAFETY FIRST — Life jackets for kids can be cute and fun. But no matter
what they look like, every child 12 and under must wear a life jacket when
on board a boat. Notice in this photo even Rosie the dog is wearing a life
jacket! Special life jackets for dogs can be purchased at outdoor stores and
boating stores. They include a handle on the back so you can haul your best
friend back into the boat if they fall overboard.

The Safe Boating Campaign is a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating, encouraging boaters to always wear a life jacket while on the water. Boating Safety Canadian Coast Guard

The annual campaign kicks off the weekend before Memorial Day with National Safe Boating Week and continues throughout the year with various events and activities.

Make PFDs A Habit

It’s tempting to not wear a life jacket while on the water, especially on nice days. You want to get some sun, you think you’ll get too hot, or you think you’re a strong swimmer.

But whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, there’s never an excuse to not wear a life jacket. Accidents happen in an instant. Make it a habit. Always wear a life jacket.

Some Scary Statistics

Life jackets can be the determining factor between life and death in many boating safety accidents. Each year, on average, 700 people die in boating-related accidents, and 8 out of every 10 victims were not wearing a life jacket.

According to Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, “Thousands of people would be alive today had they taken the simple precaution of wearing a life jacket when they went out on the water.”

  • Drowning was the reported cause of death in 80 percent of all boating fatalities in 2016.
  • Four out of every five people drowned.
  • Of those, 83 percent were reported as not wearing their life jackets.
  • Two-thirds of drowning victims are good swimmers.

Boat Smart. Boat Safe. Wear It.

Boating Safety Coast Guard EmblemIn an effort to combat these statistics, the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) — in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) — will launch the annual North American Safe Boating Campaign during National Safe Boating Week.

The Campaign is designed to reach more than 70 million boaters around North America and communicates this year’s life-saving message: Boat Smart. Boat Safe. Wear It”.

The Goal

Boating Safety Coast Guard AuxiliaryAgain, the stress will be on the importance of wearing life jackets. The Coast Guard has a goal to eliminate deaths, injuries and property damage associated with recreational boating. The Coast Guard and its partners are committed to a Safe Boating Campaign that reaches from shore to shore across the North America Continent.

At the National Safe Boating Council, we believe wearing a life jacket is the simplest way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones while enjoying a day on the water.

Canadians Also Observing

Boating Safety NASBLAOur neighbors to the north, the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Coast Guard will also observe Safe Boating Week on May 19 – May 25. Boating smart is an essential part of any day on the water regardless of where you boat.

Boating Safety National Safe BoatingFor more information, visit: and

In Arizona

The Arizona Game & Fish Department has a great online course. Boating Safety BOATING COURSE CARD  There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course nor do you have to be a resident of Arizona to take their online course.

In fact, you can get boating certified in three steps:

  1. Study and pass the $29.50 course.
  2. Print your online course completion document.
  3. Get ready to go boating!

Get started now at

Important To Know

Wear It!No one under the age of 12 years may operate a motorized vessel (including PWC) that has a horsepower rating of greater than 8 unless there is an emergency or that person is under the supervision of someone who is 18 years of age or older.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here