'WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET TO WORK DAY' MAY 17
Safety Encouraged As Summer Boating Season Gets Underway


Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

May 17, 2013



SACRAMENTO, Calif. - This Casual Friday marked a fun way to show support for water safety by joining “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day.”

Throughout the nation today, people promoted water safety while sporting a totally different look at work by wearing their favorite life jacket in honor of “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day,” a National Safe Boating Week event promoted by the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

In an effort to increase boating safety this summer, especially during busy holiday weekends, DBW encourages boaters to equip fishing boats, kayaks and all recreational vessels with proper safety equipment. Most importantly, wearing a life jacket at all times while on the water is essential to avoiding a tragedy.

During 2012, DBW received reports for 473 boating accidents, 247 injuries and 53 fatalities on California waterways.  Of the 33 victims that drowned, none were wearing a life jacket. Statistics repeatedly show that the majority of boating accidents, injuries and fatalities occur during holiday weekends.  But by following state boating laws and common sense — avoiding alcohol consumption, checking weather and wave conditions — people can experience a waterway adventure safely and enjoyably.

Specifically, important safety tips for boaters include:

  • Wear your life jacket.  State law requires there be a properly-fitted life jacket on every recreational vessel for each person aboard.  Children under 13, all personal watercraft riders, and anybody being towed by a boat must wear a life jacket at all times. DBW recommends all persons wear their life jackets while on waterways for optimal safety.
  • Keep track of your location.  Boaters should familiarize themselves with local waters and pay attention to surroundings to minimize the chances of an emergency turning into a tragedy.
  • Follow boating laws.  The best way to ensure a safe and enjoyable time on California’s many waterways is to follow state boating laws.  These laws may be found in the ABCs of California Boating booklet or by taking a boating safety class.
  • Complete a vessel safety inspection.  Especially after the winter months, it is important to have your vessel inspected as a safety precaution. These inspections are complimentary and take only a couple of minutes. To book an appointment with a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary examiner, boaters can visit: www.VesselSafetyCheck.org.

Additional safe boating information is available at www.WearItCalifornia.com. Boaters are also invited to use the department’s boating facility locator — a digital tool that makes enjoying California’s waterways easy. The locator can be downloaded to smartphones or viewed online at www.BoatFacilityLocator.com.

DBW promotes on-the-water safety and helps develop convenient public access to the waterways through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.

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