National Safe Boating Week is coming up from May 19-25 and it’s a great time to reflect on the fact that the United States has seen a steady decline in boating fatalities since President Eisenhower proclaimed the week in 1958. It’s also a great opportunity for boaters to learn or refresh their memories on how to stay safe on the water.
The boating safety course at www.boat-ed.com provides state-approved training that covers the same material that is taught in the classroom. Students learn safe boating skills such as casting off and docking, understanding traffic laws on the water, dealing with emergencies and more. Students who must receive their boater education certificate or boating license pay a one-time fee, which is due only when they pass the course.
“Boating safety education is generally considered to be an effective way of increasing boater awareness and reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities,” said Kurt Kalkomey, president of Kalkomey Enterprises Inc., parent company of boat-ed.com. “Education is mandatory in many states and students can learn safe boating practices and get certified online at boat-ed.com.”
In addition to education, the National Safe Boating Council urges boaters to wear their life jackets when on the water. While the number of boating fatalities in 2010 decreased by 8.7 percent from the previous year, there were 672 boating-related deaths. Of that number, 75 percent drowned and 88 percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket.
“Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “It’s important that everyone wears a life jacket while on the water. There’s no reason why you, your family and friends can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket.”
For more information on the boating safety course, go to www.boat-ed.com