By WECT Staff | May 12, 2020 at 10:06 PM EDT – Updated May 12 at 10:07 PM
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – The United States Coast Guard celebrates National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, to remind boaters to pay attention to safety in addition to current social distancing guidelines.
COVID-19 restrictions were recently lifted at boat ramps leading to an uptick in boating activity ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
The United States Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary encourage people to put safety first, use good judgment, don’t operate a vessel while impaired and wear life jackets.
According to Coast Guard statistics quoted by Senior Chief Josh Meyer, United States Coast Guard, the Officer In Charge of the Coast Guard Station Oak Island, “Four out of ten fatalities in boating accidents were from drowning and 84 percent of people who drowned in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.”
Boaters are reminded to take a boating safety training course and carry safety equipment in their boats.
Free vessel safety checks, usually offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, will resume once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
National Safe Boating Week was first celebrated in 1957 and was formally recognized by Congress in 1958.
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