WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — National Safe Boating Week is held the week before Memorial Day weekend.
It’s also known as the unofficial start to the summer boating season. Officials want to make sure that everyone is prepared before going out on the water.
“Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day is the big season with Memorial Day weekend and July 4 week being the largest amount of boaters on the water,” said Immediate Past Flotilla Commander at U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Capt. Mark Sonder.
Leading up to the weekend and summer, the Coast Guard is giving safety advice.
“First off, make sure their life jackets are accessible and they’ve tried them on and they know they’re set up to fit, and they inspect them every year,” said Don Lindberg with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Coast Guard officials said vessel examiners will be out in force this whole week at local campgrounds if needing your boat inspected.
The top five reasons for accidents on the water causing death or damage are operator attention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed and machinery failure. Some accidents can be controlled just by taking boating classes.
“It has been shown in the last statistics I have from the Coast Guard that 80.6% of deaths on the water, those people did not have any education at all,” said Sonder.
Other safety tips suggested are to download a Coast Guard app that allows you to send emergency messaging and to have a VHF radio. From Greenville to Morehead City three different radio stations throughout the week broadcast boating safety minutes on FM 107.1, 92.9, and on AM radio 1240.
“We hope that everybody certainly thinks about that as it we’d like to think provides tools to help people make good decisions on the water,” said Sonder.
As officials want everyone to have a fun and enjoyable memorial day weekend as well as summer, they also just want to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible. Visit United States Coast Guard Auxiliary for more information.