Boat smart

Published 1:17 am Friday, May 20, 2011

National Safe Boating Week kicks off tomorrow and runs through May 27. Should we care?
To those who hesitate before answering “Yes” to that question, then we don’t want you out on our waters.
Boating — recreational, commercial or public-safety — is a large part of the way of life and quality of life in Beaufort County. Beaufort County and many of its municipalities are fortunate to have an abundance of waterways to accommodate boating, especially recreational boating. Those waterways, at times, can become crowded and places of confusion and chaos.
That’s way boating safety should be a paramount concern to those on the water — and those off the water.
A document proclaiming May 21-27 as National Safe Boating Week in Washington was signed earlier this week by Mayor Pro Tempore Bobby Roberson. It contained some somber statistics regarding boating.
On average, about 700 people die each year in boating-related accidents in the United States. The overwhelming majority of those accidents are caused by human error or poor judgment. The majority of those deaths were caused by drowning. Many of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
When it comes to boating, know the “nautical rules of the road,” wear life jackets and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol.
The focus on safe boating should not be limited to one week a year. Safe boating must be practiced day in, day out.
Support the goals of the North American Safe Boating Campaign: Boat smart. Boat safe. Wear it.