National Safe Boating Week begins Saturday. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, along with its many boating safety partners, is working to promote safe and responsible boating in Alaska.
Alaska is a maritime state that depends on its vast 33,000 miles of coastline, rivers and lake systems for transportation, access to natural resources and support of recreational activities. The cold waters of Alaska are unforgiving and too many people die in boating accidents each year.
The majority of boating related deaths in Alaska are a result of a fall overboard or capsized boat that forces people unexpectedly into the cold water. Accidents can occur within seconds and wearing a life jacket while on deck or aboard an open boat greatly improves the odds of survival. In the last 10 years, more Alaskans have died in recreational boating accidents, than those suffered by the commercial fishing industry. Nine of 10 deaths involve adult males aboard boats under 26 feet long.
Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are sponsoring many boating safety events across Alaska, encouraging boaters to properly equip their vessels, learn more about boating and to wear their life jacket.
Alaskans are encouraged to participate in their community’s National Safe Boating Week event and boat safely throughout the upcoming season. Always wear your life jacket while on deck or in an open boat. Learn more online at cgauxalaska.org.