Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - In recognition of National Safe Boating Week 2020, May 16-22, the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary across Alaska are encouraging and promoting safe boating practices to save lives on the water.
The National Safe Boating Week campaign is a public outreach effort held annually during the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
It is designed to help reduce the number of boating accidents and fatalities by generating awareness on the waterways in the Last Frontier.
Comdr. Lyle Kessler, external affairs officer for the 17th Coast Guard District said new boaters and experienced boaters need to make an effort to practice safe boating, "Boating safety begins with planning well in advance of ever heading out on the water. The life you save through preparation may be your own, or someone close to you."
In 2019, the Coast Guard in Alaska saved 214 lives, assisted 600 people, and protected over $55 million in property.
The safety tips include wearing a life jacket. Persons 13 years of age and younger are required by law to wear a life jacket at all times when in a boat.
Other tips include filing a float plan before you get underway detailing your trip to aid rescuers in the event you are overdue. This can be as simple as telling someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
Boaters also are asked to bring multiple forms of communication devices and extra batteries and chargers.
Boaters should also check all required safety equipment on board is in good working order.
Another tip is to make sure you know the weather forecast and the marine forecast and to monitor those forecasts while on the water.
The Coast Guard also advises boaters to always boat sober on the water.