U.S. Coast Guard hosts ‘National Safe Boating Week’ kickoff event

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — National Safe Boating Week kicked off Friday with a special event happening at the Washington Waterfront.

“Just the basics of going out there and making sure you come back home safe at the end of the day,” said US Coast Guard First Class Boatswain’s Mate Jeramy Young.

Safety is the top priority for the United States Coast Guard every day but especially during National Safe Boating Week. The weeklong safety awareness PSA is taking place starting Saturday through May 29.

Young says it’s a great way to introduce new boaters to safety measures.

“You get a lot of these younger people, especially with the pandemic that just happened, a lot of people found a way to relieve that stress by buying a boat so again this is something for us to educate the newer boaters,” said Young.

He explained that although they will be on the water in full force all week, it’s not a time for them to get people in trouble, rather educate them on safety.

“That law enforcement presence we will have it out in force with the auxiliary just educating, not so much being out there being the bad guys but we are going to be out there promoting it saying, ‘hey do you have your life jackets on board’,” Young said.

Gov. Roy Cooper is also showing his support for the week by declaring a proclamation for the cause, pledging his full support.

“He sent out a thing saying what it is, where it is, how important National Safe Boating Week is to the public and that he endorses everything we are doing and that he stands behind us 100%,” said Young.

Young says that 86% of boating deaths happen from drowning so they want to make sure people are educated on what to do. From flotation devices to having a plan, it’s all a part of their mission to protect you.

“Just the basics of going out there and making sure you come back home safe at the end of the day,” Young said.

Mayors from surrounding counties were scheduled to be at Friday’s event to show their support for the Coast Guard’s mission.

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