SOURCE: National Safe Boating Council

National Safe Boating Council

March 22, 2011 08:00 ET

National Safe Boating Council Encourages States With the Highest Number of Accidents and Fatalities to "Wear It!", Provides Tips for Safe Boating for All Boaters

Easy Safe Boating Tips for Fun on the Water This Summer

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), through the U.S. Coast Guard Accident Statistics, has identified states with the highest number of accidents and fatalities in 2009. Although National Safe Boating Week, held on Memorial Day weekend, is the traditional start of the recreational boating season, spring breakers and eager boaters often take to the water early. The NSBC encourages all boaters to always wear a life jacket each and every time they are on the water.

Using data gathered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the NSBC has identified the following top-ranking states for boating deaths:

1. Florida
2. California
3. Texas
4. Michigan
5. Louisiana
6. Virginia
7. New York
8. Tennessee/Washington (tie)
9. Kentucky
10. North Carolina

Additionally, the NSBC has identified the following top-ranking states for boating accidents:

1. Florida
2. California
3. Maryland
4. Texas
5. Arizona
6. Missouri
7. New York
8. Georgia
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia

In 2009, the Coast Guard counted 4,730 accidents that involved 736 deaths, 3,358 injuries and approximately $36 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing life jackets.

"The statistics show that no matter where you are boating, being properly prepared and equipped and wearing a life jacket can help save many lives," said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. "We want to prove that life jackets not only save lives, but that today's life jackets are comfortable, stylish and easy to wear. Boaters need to be and should be properly informed and educated about boating safety and most importantly, remember to 'Wear It!'"

To prevent drowning and promote safe boating practices, the National Safe Boating Council encourages all recreational boaters to wear their life jacket and follow these five life jacket safety tips:

1. No matter what activity you have planned -- boating, fishing sailing, etc. -- always remember to wear a life jacket every time you are on the water.

2. Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Double check that your life jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.

3. Take the time to ensure a proper fit.

4. Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.

5. On recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin. Some state laws vary -- check with your local Marine Law Enforcement Authorities.

Life jacket wear by every boater is the leading goal of the North American Safe Boating Campaign, which kicks off officially with National Safe Boating Week, May 21 - 27, 2011. The North American Safe Boating Campaign unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including NASBLA, the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the many members of the National Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

About the National Safe Boating Council
The National Safe Boating Council represents over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. Visit www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com for campaign materials and additional safe boating resources. The North American Safe Boating Campaign unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the many members of the National Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Dace de la Foret
    Email Contact
    (614) 224-8114, ext. 235

    Technical Contact:


    Rachel Burkholder
    Email Contact
    (703) 361-4294