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Press Release | May 23, 2024

Coast Guard, partner agencies urge safe boating practices during National Safe Boating Week

Coast Guard Seventh District

MIAMI – The Coast Guard and partner agencies emphasize the importance of boating safety and responsible maritime practices heading into Memorial Day weekend at Crandon Park Marina, Thursday.

Considered by many as the unofficial start to the recreational boating season, National Safe Boating Week is an annual observance that strives for global awareness to encourage boaters to prioritize safety on the water.

The Coast Guard released the annual recreational boating statistics report for 2022 and counted 4,040 accidents which included 636 deaths and 2,222 injuries nationwide.

The most common causes of death are drowning, trauma, and cardiac arrest.

“National Safe Boating Week reminds us that responsible boating is essential for protecting our family and ensuring everyone can enjoy our waterways safely,” said Rear Adm. Douglas Schofield, Coast Guard District Seven Commander. “By wearing life jackets, staying alert, and following safety guidelines, we can all contribute to making every boating experience a memorable and safe adventure.”

Here are some tips boaters can use to be safe out in our nation’s waterways:

· Always wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. Approved life jackets have a serial number.

· Do not drink and boat. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. These penalties include large fines, suspension of boat operator privileges, and imprisonment.

· Review weather and tides before going out in the water. Know your weather limitations – what your boat can or can’t handle. Check for storms, tides, currents, and winds.

· Always take a marine radio. Cell phones may lose battery or cellular coverage. A VHF-FM radio is the preferred method of communication out in the water, ensure to review the VHF radio’s user instructions.

· File a float plan. Inform someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Float plans provide a starting point to help find you if something were to happen.

· Take a boating safety course. Many organizations, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary, offer valuable boating safety courses ranging from electronic navigation to boat handling. Click here for boating safety courses:

· Get a vessel safety check. The Coast Guard Auxiliary provides free boating safety checks to help ensure you have all the proper safety equipment required by your state and federal laws. No citations are issued, and you are given a written report on how to correct any discrepancies. Click here to find one near you.

For more information, check out the Coast Guard Boating Safety app at You can file a float plan, request assistance, request a vessel safety check, and report pollution and hazards to navigation.