RICHMOND, VA — National Safe Boating Week is May 20-26 and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is reminding all boaters to stay safe this summer and always wear a life jacket while on the water.
A good day on the water can turn tragic in seconds. No matter where you boat–from large lakes and rivers to small farm ponds—wearing a life jacket is essential for safety!
While getting ready for the boating season, boaters should make sure they have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in good condition that fit every occupant of the boat, including children. Safe boating week is a great time to inspect your gear, including your inflatable life jacket. Inflatable life jackets make it easy for adults to “Wear It” while enjoying their time on the water and being a good role model for young people on their boats.
“As the law enforcement division of the primary boating agency of the Commonwealth, we strive to promote a safe environment for everyone that enjoys recreating on the water. To be as effective as possible, we need your help. Please check your safety equipment at the dock, tell someone when to expect you back, make sure your vessel is seaworthy, and always designate an operator if there is alcohol aboard, says DWR Major Ryan Shuler.” “We want everyone to have fun and be safe!”
No matter what time of year you go boating, always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Also, have a plan to re-board your boat in case the unexpected happens and you end up in the water.
Weather conditions and a marine forecast can be found on the National Weather Service website. The United States Geological Survey has water temperatures for some inland lakes and rivers.
To learn more about boating laws in Virginia and information on boating, boating education and water safety, please visit: dwr.virginia.gov/boating. Remember, everyone wants to have a safe, enjoyable day on the water. Do your part by wearing your life jacket and taking a boating safety education course.
Submitted by the Department of Wildlife Resources