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2023 National Safe Boating Week – How To Get Involved

2023 National Safe Boating Week – How To Get Involved
life vest on a boat

What is Safe Boating Week?

Princess S78

National Safe Boating Week’s annual campaign kicks off May 20-26, 2023. If you are not sure what this week is all about, here is a little reminder: Safe boating week is the nation’s largest recreational boating safety event of the year, organized by the NOAA and NSBC. It serves as a reminder to boaters everywhere to keep safety and responsibility forefront of the mind all season long. As more people continue to join the boating community, it is crucial to be knowledgeable and skillful in proper boating techniques and safety guidelines. Here are some tips on how you can get involved this year:

  • traveling at safe speeds and following the rules of the water
  • never boat under the influence
  • having more than one waterproof communication device onboard
  • check equipment and systems onboard
  • taking a boating safety course
  • wearing a USCG-approved life jacket
  • watching the weather forecast 
  • avoiding distractions
  • file a float plan

  • Life Jacket Awareness

    life jackets

    Did you know the U.S Coast Guard stats show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020, and 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets? Part of this year’s National Safe Boating Week campaign involves lifejacket awareness. This movement is in support of boaters wearing a life jacket at all times when on the water. We know what you are thinking — no way am I wearing a heavy, uncomfortable life jacket at all times. Thankfully, new life jackets on the market are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Innovative options are available such as inflatable life jackets that allow mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling, or hunting…not to mention, these are a much cooler option in warmer weather.

    Stay Aware of your Surroundings & Practice SCAN – National Safe Boating Week

    Other boating safety tips include 360-degree awareness and knowing the dangers of operating a vessel while impaired. According to the FWC boating accident statistics, almost half of all reportable boating accidents in 2020 were due to collisions. 44% of those collisions were attributed to operator inattention or improper lookout. A boating tip to keep in mind is the SCAN technique. What is SCAN? It stands for search, concentrate, analyze, and negotiate. We have broken it down further below.

    SCAN while out on the water

      SCAN: Search, Concentrate, Analyze, Negotiate

  • Search the area all around your boat. This is a 360-degree inspection of everything on the water around your boat. Distances away will close or open depending on your speed or the speed of the observed vessel or object. The faster you are operating, the farther out you will need to search.
  • Concentrate on what you are seeing. Is it a boat? What type and what is it doing? What is its speed? Is it a stationary object? Drifting or anchored? Things can happen fast out on the water, so these are questions you must consider while you look at the observed boats or objects.
  • Analyze what you are watching. Is it closing in on your position or going away from you? Remember, if the object you are observing is at a constant bearing with decreasing range, it is on a collision course. Never assume that you’re seen by other boaters, they may or may not be distracted. Determine this by the way and direction they are operating. Analyze how far away the boat or object is and how fast it is closing the distance between you and it.
  • Negotiate. What are you going to do? Slow down, turn away from the boat or object, and head in a different direction? Remember the Navigation Rules. Learn the proper action to take while meeting head-on, crossing, or overtaking another boat.

  • For other safety tips and information, view related articles below or visit As always, stay safe and have fun this boating season.

  • Tips For Boating In Bad Weather
  • Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Yacht Owners
  • Memorial Weekend Boating Tips & Safety Guidelines
  • Boating Safety Guideline for pre-departure & on the Water
  • Filing a Float Plan
  • Top Safety Tips for Pets Aboard
  • Proper Boating Etiquette
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