are delighted to have your students participate in the Tenth Annual Safe
& Wise Water Ways poster contest. Water-related 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. 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:
It is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol and other
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 react
when there is danger. Other natural stressors like sun, noise, waves and
wind increase the effects of alcohol and drugs.
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 not only ruins the beauty of boating waters, they can also
injure or kill aquatic life. Some ways to help keep the waterways clean
include: Do not throw any litter overboard. Keep a trash bag on your boat,
and use it. Pick up someone else's litter. Use the restroom before you
go out boating.
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 your life in an emergency. Similar
to seat belts, California law requires children under 13 to wear a life
jacket when boating.
Everyone 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. Floating is a skill that is as important as swimming
because it saves energy and keeps you safe until help arrives. 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 obstacles.
with a friend: use the buddy system--never go in or near the water alone.
water only where there is a lifeguard present or proper supervision is
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.
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.
overloaded 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! Never 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 moving 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!
fake an accident or drowning.
horseplay and peer pressure activities.
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 an
adult can Row. Never jump into the water to save someone. Only lifeguards
or water safety certified people should enter the water to rescue someone.
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
are rules for boating, just as there are rules for driving. These rules
person must be 16 or older to operate a motorboat alone.
two boats meet head on, both go 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, fishermen, anchored vessels, docks and moorings. Safe
boaters are always courteous and cautious
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 from
the Division of Boating and Waterways).
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 Tenth Annual Safe & Wise Water Ways poster contest. Remember, if
one student wins, the whole class wins!!!