If you’re not one of the many marine industry disciples who actually wore their life jacket to work last Friday — affectionately known as Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day — you should be aware that the week prior to Memorial Day here in the States is always honored as National Safe Boating Week.
Safe Boating Week was designed to bring awareness to the importance of safety on the water, prior to what is normally the kickoff to the summer boating season — Memorial Day weekend. Wear your life jacket. Boat sober. Navigate responsibly. Respect other boaters. And so forth.
With many dealers and marinas reporting that boater activity levels have been at all-time highs throughout the month of May, the boating season is already in full swing, and it is expected that this Memorial Day Weekend could be the busiest holiday weekend ever for boating across the United States.
This year, more than any other year, safe boating takes on a higher level of importance — and not just because of the increased boating activity. Safe Boating week was designed to help mitigate the risks of boating accidents and fatalities, two key metrics that our industry has been successful at improving over time. With greater numbers of boaters on the waterways, a focus on safe boating will be more important than ever.
I would argue, however, that our industry’s focus shouldn’t be limited to reducing the risk of just accidents and fatalities. It should also be focused on limiting the risk that our industry faces with regard to the health concerns in our society today.
Download this and the other resources below to communicate with customers on how to boat
safely in today's social-distancing-focused environment and help mitigate risks to boating.
You may recall that Miami-Dade County in Florida closed down its boat ramps and forbid boaters from using popular boating destinations due to the appearance that boaters were not practicing safe social distancing measures. With increased boating-related website traffic, with an increase in boat loan applications, and positive reports from our dealers, it’s clear that a whole lot of new people and seasoned boaters alike will be taking to our waterways this weekend and enjoying our great outdoors. What are you doing to keep them safe and protect both boaters and boating for the days, weeks and months to come?
Without a good reminder from our industry and our many businesses and their employees, if boating participation isn’t conducted safely and responsibly, it could damage the reputation of boating and once again cause the closure of ramps and/or waterways. Let’s make sure that we’re communicating, as an industry, all of the ways we should be boating safely.
Here are a few resources you can use to do that:
MRAA: Communicate Safe Boating With Your Customers
MRAA's Boating Do's and Do Not's
Boat Ramp Do's and Do Not's
Discover Boating Article: Tips for Safe Social Distancing