Event highlights boating safety ‘fun’damentals May 18, 2016
May has the highest number of boating accidents according to FWC, and in order to ensure people are safe on the water this summer and all year long, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida is hosting Safe Boating Day on Sunday, May 22 at Bahia Mar Marina from 1-4 p.m.
The free event coincides with National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) and will feature live safety demonstrations, speakers, raffle prizes, food trucks, music and much more. There will also be information about utilizing a new boating safety bill that passed this year that offers boaters a state vessel registration discount if they buy emergency locator devices.
“The purpose of Safe Boating Day is to educate the community and encourage a responsible dialogue,” said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. “Whether it’s a car or a boat, unexpected conditions and circumstances can arise that may affect the outcome. We need to get out in front of it so people can benefit from and enjoy our waterways safely.”
Exhibitors will give a variety of demonstrations, including on boat inspections, proper life jacket use, life raft deployment, a Gumby suit, emergency signaling devices, knot tying and trailer safety. Speakers will cover topics such as safety on the water, what to do when you’re stuck at sea, fighting fires, designated “driver” alternatives, electrical safety and how to save money on your boat insurance.
Participants include the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Marine Team, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Pompano Beach Sail & Power Squadron, Maritime Professional Training, International Crew Training, Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, FireAde, Throw Raft, National Air Ambulance, ACR Electronics, Young Professionals in Yachting, Best Boat Club, Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale, One Beat CPR, Oversea Insurance, IGFA, Reel Skipper, Broward College, Slurpits and American Boat & Yachting Council.
Some safe boating stats:
- In 2014, FWC reported that there were 634 boating accidents and 73 boating related fatalities. A large number of the deaths could have been prevented if the victims had worn life jackets.
- Florida led the nation with 899,635 registered vessels in 2014.
- May saw the highest amount of accidents in 2014, according to FWC.
- FWC issued 38,178 Boating Safety Education ID cards in 2014.
- Americans are taking to the water: 35.7% of the U.S. adult population – 87.3 million Americans – participated in recreational boating at least once in 2014.
- In one year, the Coast Guard responded to 19,790 search and rescue cases and saved 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property.