CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — The North Florida Marine Association has announced that Safe Boating Week and Boater Skip Day are coming up.
Boaters, fisherman and water enthusiasts alike are reminded that the annual week-long event is to encourage exercising boating safety skills and to prepare for the upcoming boating season.
The boating safety observance week, held from May 20 through May 26, is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign. This global awareness effort encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventures by committing to safety, responsibility and education.
NFMA is also proud to announce the return of the largest boat event in Northeast Florida -- Boater Skip Day.
Each year, hundreds of boaters take a once-a-year opportunity to trade a day of work for a day of making memories on the water.
This year’s Boater Skip Day is planned to take place on Fri., Jun. 2, at 9 a.m. Boaters are encouraged to meet up at Marker 24 at Bayard Point, just south of the Shands Bridge.
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The National Safe Boating Council recommends these tips for boaters, no matter the day of year on the water:
- Take a boating safety course. Gain valuable knowledge and on-water experience in a boating safety course, with many options for novice to experienced boaters.
- Check equipment. Schedule a free vessel safety check with local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons to make sure all essential equipment is present, working, and in good condition.
- Make a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type and registration, and communication equipment on board.
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket—every time. A stowed life jacket is no use in an emergency.
- Use an engine cut-off device—it’s the law. An engine cut-off device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing and frequently during the excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents are caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the area and local boating speed zones, and always travel at a safe speed.
- Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
- Keep in touch. Have more than one communication device that works when wet. VHF radios, emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and cell phones can all be important devices in an emergency.