The importance of flotation devices and other watercraft safety tips will be the focus of 2013 National Safe Boating Week scheduled for May 18 through May 24.
Boaters are being reminded to “practice safe and responsible boating, always wear your life jacket, and be alert while on the water,” according to Laurel Anders, who is the director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Bureau of Boating and Outreach.
About 700 people die in boating-related accidents around the country each year, and nearly 80 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets. In Pennsylvania in 2012, 11 boaters died as the result of recreational boating accidents, and only three of those victims had been wearing life jackets.
We are reminded that:
>> Boats must have on board a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket for each person.
>> Children who are 12 and under must wear their life jackets while underway in any boat that is 20 feet or shorter, and in all canoes and kayaks.
>> And, from November 1 through April 30, a cold weather regulation is in effect, requiring all boaters to wear life jackets in any boat under 16 feet long, and in any canoe or kayak.