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May. 21, 2019
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Safe Boating Week is May 18-24

By Pamela A. Keene
 
The start of the summer boating season is a good time to honor Safe Boating Week. From May 18-24, various groups across the nation, including those on Lake Lanier and in Georgia, will recognize the national Safe Boating Campaign.

Friday, May 17, is an event called “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work.” 
 
“It may sound strange, but if you’re committed to boating safety, it’s a great conversation starter with co-workers and friends,” said Chuck Kelemen, commander of Flotilla 29/USCGA on Lake Lanier. “And if you’re not comfortable wearing your life jacket to work, just take it with you.”
 
According to the USCGA, more than 70 million Americans are recreational boaters. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure and alcohol use as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. 
 
“The purpose of Safe Boating Week is to raise awareness of boating laws and safety,” said Barbara Tyson, commander of America’s Boating Club Atlanta. “Boating safety and education are two of our main missions and we encourage people to be mindful of how they can be more cautious on the water.”
 
Flotilla 29 of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and America’s Boating Club Atlanta are both supporting the Wear Your Life Jacket to Work initiative. The groups also conduct voluntary vessel safety checks on Lake Lanier at no charge to boaters. These inspections work with boat owners to ensure that they have the proper safety and regulatory equipment in good working order on board. The USCGA and America’s Boating Club Atlanta have joined with the Lake Lanier Association to support the 100-foot Rule campaign, as well.
 
“We don’t give citations, but we work with boaters to know what’s required,” Tyson said. “It’s part of our boater education program.”
 
More Boating Safety Week activities
  • Guide to Safer Paddling, May 18, US Coast Guard Auxiliary on Lake Lanier near the entrance to Aqualand Marina. For information call 678 429-8415.
  • Special Boating Safety Class, May 18, Marine Max at Bald Ridge Marina, presented by America’s Boating Club Atlanta and Marine Max. Space is limited. To register, call 770 7781-9370.
  • About Boating Safety, May 25, US Coast Guard Auxiliary Lake Lanier. To register, call 404 775-2608. 
     
For more information, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

Posted online 4/29/19
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