Safe boating practices focus of this year’s boating week

Recently, Kaua‘i has lost paddle sport enthusiasts who were not properly equipped before entering the ocean.

According to Jim Jung of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, padde sport activities has proliferated on Kaua‘i, and to educate enthusiasts, will be the focus of Safe Boating Week this year.

As part of the celebration which takes place from May 17 through 23, Jung said members of the USCG Auxiliary will be present at the launch ramp next to Coast Guard Station Kaua‘i at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor to provide free vessel safety checks and distribute safe boating literature.

This will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on May 17 and 18.

Additionally, the USCG Auxiliary members will be at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center on May 24 with exhibits and safe boating literature from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jung was on hand yesterday to accept a mayoral proclamation urging all recreational boaters to “Boat Smart — Boat Safe,” this year’s theme, by wearing life jackets and practicing safe boating habits.

According to a press release from the USCG Auxiliary, a life jacket can be the determining factor between life and death in many boating accidents.

The release goes on to state that, on the average, 700 people die in boating related accidents with eight out of every 10 victims not wearing a life jacket.

Recreational boating is fun and enjoyable, but to the unprepared, can be a risky sport. Not knowing or obeying the rules, or drinking alcohol or taking drugs while operating a boat, or choosing not to wear a life jacket is clearly not the smart thing to do, the release states.

If people are aware of the risk, they are likely to take precautionary measures to protect themselves, their families and friends.

The USCG Auxiliary provides information on safe boating practices as well as the equipment boaters are required to have on their vessels, Jung said.

Throughout the year the Auxiliary members conduct vessel safety inspections and distribute literature to promote safe boating.

For more information, call Jung at 822-0448.

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