|When – Thursday, May 24, at 11:30 a.m.
Where – Main Rotunda, State Capitol Complex
What - State legislators, U.S. Coast Guard, boating organizations and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will recognize National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25) and the start of boating season by stressing the importance of wearing life jackets and following safe boating practices.
Participants will simultaneously activate inflatable life jackets. (Photo/TV opportunity)
Background - Each year, on average, 700 people die in boating-related accidents nationwide. Nearly 80 percent of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. In Pennsylvania, 22 boaters died in 2011 as a result of recreational boating accidents and only three of them were wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.
National Safe Boating Week is scheduled each year as the first full week before Memorial Day weekend, which is often thought of as the unofficial start of warm weather and the boating season in Pennsylvania. Boaters should note that:
- Boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable (Type I, II, III, or V) life jacket on board for each person.
- Children 12 years of age and younger must wear their life jackets while underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and on all canoes and kayaks.
- The regulation requiring mandatory life jacket use during cold weather months begin November 1. Boaters must wear a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any canoe or kayak during the cold weather months from November 1 through April 30.
Additional Information - From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a staffed information booth will be available with safe boating brochures, fact sheets, stickers and other materials in the East Wing Rotunda.
Eric Levis, Press Secretary