Published 7:00 am, Friday, May 19, 2017
HURON COUNTY — With summer fast approaching, families and friends are anxious to enjoy time in the sun and on the water — boating, fishing, paddling and more. During all recreational water activities, it’s important to remember proper safety precautions.
Boating safety advocates across the United States and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating during National Safe Boating Week, which kicks off this Saturday and run through May 26.
For both national and local officials, it is imperative to spread the message of the importance of boating safety. What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if someone ends up in the water, so proper life jacket use is really being stressed.
“Life jackets are the big thing,” said Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson.
Hanson said many times, a life jacket can be the difference between life and death.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2015, and that 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
New life jackets are much more comfortable, cool and lightweight than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Innovative options, such as inflatables, allow for mobility and flexibility during boating activities such as fishing, paddling or hunting.
“It’s important to encourage everyone on board the boat to wear a life jacket,” said John Johnson, CAE, executive director and CEO of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “Accidents can happen too fast to put on a stowed life jacket.”
Additionally, the campaign will remind boaters to always maintain awareness of their surroundings and never boat under the influence.
Hanson said a growing issue of late has been the number of kayaking incidents. He urges enthusiasts to…