NOAA and National Safe Boating Council Continue National Safe Boating Week Partnership
May 3, 2021
For the annual celebration of National Safe Boating Week, held May 22-28, 2021, the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s)National Weather Service encourage boaters to follow health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local officials while boating responsibly.
NSBC and NOAA’s National Weather Service have partnered to share safety information for National Safe Boating Week since 2000. Boating safety information can be found at www.weather.gov/safety/safeboating-week and www.safeboatingcampaign.com/resources/2021-national-safe-boating-week-toolkit.
“We are excited to kick off this year’s National Safe Boating Week in partnership with NOAA’s National Weather Service to promote fun and responsible boating,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council and lead organization for the Safe Boating Campaign. “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.”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2019, and that 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
In partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, the NSBC’s Safe Boating Campaign recommends all boaters wear a life jacket. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.
In addition, NOAA urges boaters to think about the impact of the weather on their boating outings.
“Many people do not think about or plan for the impact weather conditions can have on their boating safety,” said Darren Wright, national marine program manager at NOAA’s National Weather Service. “It’s critical that they check the weather conditions, including water temperature, before their departure and regularly check for updates on potentially changing conditions.”
Boaters should have at least two communications devices with them when on the water that work when wet. Satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), VHF radios and personal locator beacons (PLB) are recommended as cell phones are not reliable in emergency situations. It is also a good idea to bring a NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) receiver to keep track of weather conditions. The NWR network provides near continuous coverage for most coastal areas served by NWS offices.
Typical coverage is up to 25 nautical miles offshore. The U.S. Coast Guard broadcasts coastal forecasts and storm warnings of interest to the mariner on VHF channel 22A following an initial announcement on VHF channel 16.
NSBC and NOAA are collaborating with other boating safety groups and organizations to encourage safe boating on the water throughout the 2021 boating season. The NSBC is proud to be a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, as a part of NOAA’s Weather Ready Nation initiative.