are delighted to have your students participate in the 12th Annual Safe
& Wise Water Ways poster contest.
accidents are the second leading cause of accidental death among people
aged 4-19. The Division of Boating and Waterways believes safety lessons
learned and practiced at an early age serve to protect individuals throughout
life; therefore, the primary goal of this contest is to teach students
to be safe and wise when near the water.
and water-related activities are predominantly recreational, so students
enjoy learning aquatic safety skills that prepare them for aquatic recreation.
Furthermore, the contest-type format turns students into teachers as
they pass on their water safety knowledge to all who view their work.
year the Department is highlighting the following four
boating and aquatic safety themes:
Learn To Rescue Safely!
can happen near the water and you should learn simple rescues of others
without endangering yourself. The three ways to rescue someone are
Reach, Throw, or Row.
REACH for the person. Be sure you hold onto someone or something
stable and do not lean over the water.
you can't reach them, THROW out something that will float, something
they can hold onto that will help them stay afloat until help comes.
you can't Reach or Throw, find an adult who can ROW out to them
or go call 9-1-1 to get help. A raft or surfboard are examples of
what to Row. Never jump into the water to save someone. Only lifeguards
or water safety certified people should enter the water to rescue
Alcohol, Drugs & Boating Don't Mix!
is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
People who drink alcohol or use other drugs and drive a boat can hurt
themselves or someone else. Boat passengers who drink alcohol or use
other drugs can lose their balance and fall out of the boat. Alcohol
and drugs impair judgment and slow reflexes. This makes it hard to
reach when there is danger. Other natural stressors like sun, noise,
waves and wind increase the effects of alcohol and drugs.
Keep Our Waterways Clean!
The waterways belong to all of us. We all have to help
keep the water clean because clean water is safe water. Plastic, litter,
oils, gas and human sewage can not only ruin the beauty of boating
waters, they can injure or kill aquatic life. Some ways to help keep
the waterways clean include:
not throw any litter overboard.
a trash bag on your boat, and use it.
up someone else's litter.
the restroom before you go out boating.
Wear a Life Jacket!
Everyone should wear a life jacket when boating. Many
jobs and sports require special safety clothing. For example: fire
fighters, police officers, football and soccer players. A life jacket
is considered wearable safety gear for boaters. The healthy habit
of wearing a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket
can save yourlife in an emergency. Similar to seat belts, California
law requires children under 13 to wear a life jacket when boating.
skills and knowledge you may
in your lesson
can and should learn to swim. Call your local pools, YMCA/YWCA, Red
Cross, or swim club to sign up for lessons. Swimming can help save your
life and knowing how to swim helps you not to panic when you are in
the water. Boating and other water activities are safer for those who
can swim and float.
is a skill that is as important as swimming because it saves energy
and keeps you safe until help comes. Floating should be practiced in
a safe place, like a swimming pool, with an observer nearby. If you
fall into a river, you should float feet first pointing downstream.
This allows you to use your feet to push away from rocks, logs, or other
with a friend:
the buddy system--never go in or near the water alone.
water only where there is a lifeguard present or proper supervision
not run on or near a pool deck.
not play on or near diving boards.
not jump on or near people in the water.
enter pool areas that are closed or locked.
fake an accident or drowning. Discourage horseplay and peer pressure
the following hazardous water and shore conditions:
or rip current--never swim against it, float until the current weakens
and you can swim to safety.
bottoms--holes, drop-offs, and debris.
or slippery banks--they can cause you to fall into the water.
waves--they can knock you off your feet.
The Boating Rules of the Road:
are rules for boating, just as there are rules for driving. These rules
A person must be 16 or older to operate a motorboat alone.
When two boats meet head on, both go to their right.
two boats cross paths, the boat to the right has the right-of-way.
must stay away from swimming areas, large ships, shipping areas, water
skiers, fisherman, anchored vessels, docks and moorings.
boaters are always courteous and cautious.
With Your Boat:
in calm weather, boats can capsize or turn over. If the boat turns over,
stay with the boat and try to climb onto the boat as high out of the
water as possible. It is easier for rescuers to see an overturned or
capsized boat than a person alone in the water. Even on warm days, the
water can be cold. Climb out of the water onto the boat to keep from
getting too cold.
Overload Your Boat:
overload boat can tip over or sink even when there is no wind and the
water is calm. Small boats have a capacity plate that shows how many
people and how much weight can safely
be put in the boat. Don't overload your boat!
Before You Leap:
jump or dive into water when the depth or type of bottom is unknown.
Stay away from canals. They have many dangers.
are on private property and it is considered trespassing to go near
have steep, slippery sides and fast water.
and garbage under the water can hurt or trap you.
are for transporting water, NOT for recreation.
not swim or boat in a canal!
activities can be integrated into a boating and aquatic safety lesson.
A sample lesson plan could include:
about water near school, home, and in between.
role-playing water rescues of self and others.
the appropriate AquaSMART video for your grade level (available by
calling the Education Unit, (888) 326-2822).
a guest speaker from the community (e.g. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary,
U.S. Power Squadrons, Red Cross, lifeguards, local law enforcement
agencies, college aquatic centers, park rangers).
our Web Site at www.boatsmarter.com
for more information or to download the entry form.
the 12th Annual Safe & Wise Water Ways Poster contest. Remember, if
one student wins, the whole class wins!