May 18-24, 2024 Designated as National Safe Boating Week

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, in coordination with
the National Safe Boating Council announces May 18-24, 2024, as National Safe
Boating Week, traditionally observed the week before Memorial Day, the
beginning of boating season.
National Safe Boating Week reminds all boaters to brush up on boating safety
skills and prepare for the 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 adventure by being responsible.
“We’re committed to teaching boaters that the best boating experience is a safe day
on the water,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating
Council, a nonprofit dedicated to helping create a safe boating experience for all
boaters and the lead organization of the Safe Boating Campaign. “This National
Safe Boating Week, prepare for a great boating season by inspecting your boating
safety gear and commit to providing comfortable life jackets for all your
passengers to wear every time you go boating.”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in
four out of every five recreational boating fatalities, and that 75 percent of those
who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
There are many options for boaters when it comes to choosing a life jacket. When
selecting a life jacket, a boater should check that it is U.S. Coast Guard approved,
appropriate for the water activity, and fits properly.

“The best life jacket is the one you will wear,” said Phillips. “Whether you’re
going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, make sure you’re prepared for the
adventure by wearing a life jacket and knowing how to use required safety gear.”
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 before you leave the dock.
 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 switch – it’s the law. An engine cut-off switch is a
proven safety device to stop a powerboat engine should the operator
unexpectedly fall overboard.
 Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water
and frequently during the excursion.
 Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all
reported boating incidents in 2022 were caused by operator inattention or
improper lookout.
 Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the
area, 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.
The Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish
Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The campaign offers a variety of free and paid resources to support local boating
safety education efforts. Learn more at