National Safe Boating Week starts Saturday and urges life jacket wear

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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NSBW 2022 starts May 21
NSBW 2022 starts May 21(CBS 3 DULUTH)

DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) -

From the Red River Valley to the Mackinac Bridge, there are 33,680 lakes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.

Plying those waters are nearly two and a half million boats.

Coast Guard statistics show a noticeable portion of those boats were purchased during the pandemic and their new skippers

haven’t learned the rules of the waterways yet.

“They don’t necessarily know what they’re doing.

They’re out on the water criss-crossing everybody in every direction.” said Eloyes Hill.

Eloyes Hill is the commander of the Twin Ports Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla.

She thinks this is the perfect time for boat owners new and old to brush up on safety skills because National Safe Boating

Week runs May 21st to 27th.

Lesson number one is to wear a life jacket at all times rather than hoping to get one on in a hurry during times of trouble.

Getting the proper size for a child is a simple task.

“It is very important to make sure the jacket is fitted properly for a child so they don’t slide out of it when they hit the water.

If they put their hands up and you can lift the life jacket off of them then you need to go to a smaller size.” said Steve Daniel of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

National Safe Boating Week was authorized by President Eisenhower in the late 50′s during an uptick in boating accidents.

“The safety skills stressed by groups like the Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron apply to big boats and even

little ones like the type that would run this trolling motor.” said Dave Anderson while dusting off a dormant trolling motor that has waited all winter long for its next chance to bite the water.

Safety literature can be found at many marinas and outdoors stores.

“Places like marinas obviously but also places that sell boats and boating supplies where we have various brochures that promote boating safety.” said Hill.

Most of the brochures are free so the only thing you have to pay is pay attention while being careful in a boat.

“What we want people to do is constantly be aware when you are out on the water.

Just look around for what’s happening and that will prevent a lot of misfortune.” said HIll.

Look below for the video version of this story as aired on the CBS 3 Duluth 6 pm news:

Click above for the video version of Dave Anderson's National Safe Boating Week story

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