EDITOR’S NOTE: Ottawa County Commissioners Mark Coppeler, Mark Stahl and Donald Douglas issued this proclamation for Safe Boating Week.
For nearly 100 million Americans, boating continues to be a popular recreational activity. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, people are taking to the water and enjoying time together boating, sailing, paddling and fishing. During National Safe Boating Week, the U.S. Coast Guard and its federal, state and local safe boating partners encourage all boaters to explore and enjoy America’s beautiful waters responsibly.
Safe boating begins with preparation. The Coast Guard estimates that human error accounts for most boating accidents and that life jackets could prevent nearly 86 percent of boating fatalities. Through basic boating safety procedures – carrying lifesaving emergency distress and communications equipment, wearing life jackets, attending safe boating courses, participating in free boat safety checks and staying sober when navigating – we can help ensure boaters on America’s coastal, inland and offshore waters stay safe throughout the season.
Whereas, on average 600 people die each year in boating related accidents in the US; 79% of these are fatalities caused by drowning; and in 2020 in Ohio there were 163 boating accidents, 20 of those were fatal.
Whereas, the vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error or poor judgement and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors; and the top causes of boating accidents are: operator inattention, operator inexperience, and improper lookout.
THEREFORE, We, The Ottawa County Commissioners, do hereby support the goals of Safe Boating Campaign and proclaim May 21-27, as National Safe Boating Week and the start of year-round effort to promote Safe Boating.