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Summer of Boating Safely Contest

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Updated: Monday, June 1, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Sea Tow Foundation’s Summer of Boating Safely Contest

 The Sea Tow Foundation – a national nonprofit dedicated to the education and awareness of safe boating practices – is announcing their “Summer of Boating Safely,” a new contest designed to further its mission.

 

The Sea Tow Foundation’s mission is to promote safe boating practices that directly reduce accidents, deaths, and property damage related to recreational boating. The Summer of Boating Safely contest will encourage boaters to raise awareness of their safe boating habits and share their selfie video entries via social media. The contest provides a unique opportunity to win prizes by letting boaters show off their own boating safety habits. Some of the prizes include: inflatable life jackets from Onyx outdoor, a Cobra floating VHF radio, a WASP Action Sports Camera and more!

 

“We know that boating can be a wonderful way to relax and take advantage of the beautiful weather around you, but we want everyone to experience it safely,” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “This contest was put in place to educate boaters everywhere. The best part is that everyone can help us in our mission with just a simple post on their social media account and they may even win a prize.”

 

Participants can enter by taking a selfie video answering the question of the month and posting it to Facebook or Instagram with a tag to @SeaTowFoundation and the hashtag #summerofboatingsafely. And because this summer is different from all previous summers, entries can be recorded on a boat or in a backyard. On the 15th of each month, one random winner will be chosen from the entries received during the previous month. For a full list of rules, click here.

 

·         Memorial Day: Contest runs from May 25-June 30, winner chosen on July 15

o   Question to answer: What is something you do to boat safely that you wish everyone would do on the water?

·         Independence Day: Contest runs from July 1-31, winner chosen on August 15

o   Question to answer: What do you tell guests on your boat so that everyone on board is boating safely?

·         Labor Day: Contest runs from August 1-September 7, winner chosen on September 15

o   Question to answer: What three items are on your checklist for boating safely?

 

Now that boating season is officially here, take a moment to showcase your own boating safely skills to the world and try to win some cool prizes at the same time!

 

 

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Contest  Prizes  Summer of Boating Safely 

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Movies About Boating Recommended by the Sea Tow Foundation

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, June 1, 2020

Movies About Boating Recommended by the Sea Tow Foundation

 

When you want to go boating, but can’t due to bad weather, rising fuel costs, illness, or local regulations that prohibit you from being able to go out, there is still a way to enjoy the boating life from home. The Sea Tow Foundation has curated a list of movies that the whole family can enjoy while waiting to get back on the water. There is nothing like a good film to take your imagination to distant shores.  Even though you might be watching these movies from the couch, this list below is sure to bring your mind back to the water.  To find these movies, simply search for them on your favorite streaming platform or look into checking them out of your local library or renting them online.

 

Based on a True Story:

The Perfect Storm (2000)

Based on the Perfect Storm of 1991, this drama tells the story of a fishing boat crew caught in a storm after ignoring warnings of a hurricane. This cautionary tale stars Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney.

 

The Mercy (2017)

The 1968 Golden Globe Race is the single-handed, non-stop circumnavigating competition. This is the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) and his attempt to win the race.

 

White Squall (1996)

A group of schoolboys join a ship run by a strong-willed skipper. The boys learn about hard work ethic and discipline to succeed. Things take a dramatic shift when they face a white squall storm.

 

Classics:

Jaws (1975)

No list would ever be complete without Spielberg’s’ thriller: Jaws. A great white shark is terrorizing a town destroying their tourism industry. The police chief, a shark hunter, and a  biologist are tasked with saving the town and killing the vicious shark.

 

Captain Ron (1992)

Starring Kurt Russell and Martin Short, this comedy showcases the story of a family who inherits a yacht and a Navy veteran who cross the Caribbean together. Mishaps and adventure take place and it is sure to keep your crew laughing. 

 

Titanic (1997)

This classic film depicts the maiden voyage of the Titanic in 1912 and its doom as it sinks after hitting an iceberg. The movie also paints the love affair between a wealthy young woman and a poor artist.

 

Family Friendly (PG):

Life of Pi (2012)

The film tells the story of a 16-year-old who survives a shipwreck. Now stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger, he has lessons to learn and must figure out how to survive alone.

 

Moana (2016)

Disney’s Moana is a musical adventure telling the story of a strong-willed daughter who has a passion to sail the oceans and must save her island with a powerful demigod. The movie has won two academy awards and features the voices of Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho.

 

Overboard (1987)

A callous heiress (Goldie Hawn) takes advantage of a carpenter (Kurt Russell) who later is the first to find her after she falls off her yacht and gets amnesia. Out of revenge, he convinces her that she is his wife and the hilarity ensues.

 

Documentary:

Maiden (2019)

This documentary describes the journey of the all-woman crew of the 1989 Whitbreat Round the World Race. The journey to stand up for what you believe in is difficult, but with hard work, anything is possible.

 

Morning Light (2008)

In 2007, Roy Disney gave fifteen young people the chance of a lifetime: to compete in TRANSPAC, a 2,300 mile ocean race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. After 6-months of intense training, they had a chance to compete against the best in the race and fight against the elements to win.

 

Chasing Bubbles (2016)

Alex Rust, a farm boy from Indiana, left his life in corporate America to set sail around the world. He taught himself how to sail with the help of a ‘Sailing for Dummies’ book, and a 4-year adventure began.

 

 

What is your favorite movie about boating or that involves boats? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags:  2019-20  boating movies  movies about boating 

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Boating Safety Frequently Asked Questions

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Friday, May 29, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2020

Boating Safety Frequently Asked Questions

The Sea Tow Foundation has assembled a list of answers to questions we hear most often. If the answer to your question is not listed here it may be in another post on our blog - try searching our blog for that topic. You can also ask your question in the comment section and we will be sure to add it.

 

How to Boat Safely and Socially Distance During COVID 19

A: Everyone’s life has changed as a result of the Coronavirus, but boating can still be a wonderful activity to participate in while practicing social distancing. The Sea Tow Foundation wants to encourage you to get out on the water and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but we ask that you do it safely and legally. We’ve compiled a list of 10 Dos and Don’ts to help you plan a great day on the water. Click this link for details.

 

What life jackets are required to be carried on my recreational boat?

A: In general, Federal law requires that you must have a Coast Guard-approved, wearable life jacket that is in good and serviceable conditions and of the appropriate size for each person onboard your vessel. In addition, boats greater than 16 feet in length must carry a Coast Guard-approved throwable device (Type IV). A throwable device is not required on canoes or kayaks regardless of length. For more information on exemptions and the proper use of life jackets, click this link.

 

When should I wear my Life Jacket?

A: The USCG recommends wearing your life jacket at all times when the boat is underway.

 

What are the federal regulations for life jacket wear for children?

A: On a vessel that is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear an appropriate U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket unless they are below deck or within an enclosed cabin. If a state has established a child life jacket wear requirement that differs from the Coast Guard requirement, the state requirement will be applicable on waters subject to that state's jurisdiction. Contact your state boating authority for more information.

 

Am I required to carry a Life Jacket on my Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP).

A: Yes, when used beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area a SUP is considered a vessel and is required to carry a life jacket for everyone on board like any other boat.

 

Who can wear a Coast Guard-approved inflatable Life Jacket?

A: Inflatable life jackets are generally intended for persons over 80 lbs (39kg). To meet life jacket carriage requirements, the intended wearer must be over 16 years of age. See the life jacket’s label for more information.

 

Is my boating safety certificate valid to operate a boat in another state?

A: In most cases, yes. However, there are a few states that do not honor a certificate obtained outside of their state. Always check the state laws where you will be boating to ensure your current certificate will be accepted.

 

How do I dispose of expired pyrotechnic Visual Distress Signals (VDS) or marine flares?

A: The disposal of expired pyrotechnic devices should be done in accordance with local county and state hazardous waste regulations. Please check with these local authorities to obtain the correct disposal procedures.

 

How do I register my Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or submit an updated registration form?

A: You can register online at this link.

 

What Visual Distress Signals must I carry on my boat?

A: Visual distress signals are required to be carried onboard vessels operating on the Great Lakes, High Seas, Territorial Seas and connecting waters seaward of a point where the width of the entrance exceeds 2 nautical miles, with certain exceptions. For more information on the types and quantities required and proper use of visual distress signals, click this link.

 

What is a Vessel Safety Check?

A: A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a courtesy examination of your boat (vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. The volunteer VSC examiner may also make recommendations and discuss safety issues that can make you a safer boater. No citations will be given if the boat does not pass. The examiner will supply you with a copy of the evaluation so that you may follow up with any recommendations. Vessels that pass the examination will be able to display the distinctive VSC decal. The decal does not exempt boaters from law enforcement boarding but indicates to boarding officers that the boat has been examined and found to be in compliance with safety equipment regulations. Vessel Examiner is a trained volunteer specialist and a member of either the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons, or in some cases state volunteer examiners.

 

When should I file a float plan?

A: You should complete a float plan and leave it with a responsible party each and every time you get underway.

 

When should I turn on or display my navigation lights?

A: Navigation lights are to be turned on or displayed from sunset to sunrise and when operating in or near areas of restricted visibility (e.g., fog, snow, and heavy rain).

 

Do I need a horn on my boat?

A: Navigation Rules require sound signals to be made under certain circumstances, such as meeting, crossing, and overtaking other vessels. Recreational vessels are also required to use sound signals during periods of reduced visibility and while at anchor. See A Boater's Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats for the types of sound producing devices required for your specific vessel. A vessel of less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) must, at a minimum, have some means of making an efficient sound signal (i.e., handheld air horn, athletic whistle, installed horn, etc.). A human voice is not acceptable. A vessel 39.4 feet (12 meters) or greater must have a sound signaling appliance capable of producing an efficient sound signal, audible for a mile, with a 4- to 6-second duration.

 

Do you have any other questions? Try searching our blog or ask your question in the comments below.

Tags:  Frequently Asked Questions  Life Jacket  Sober Skipper 

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Vote for the “Best Harbor in the U.S.” Contest

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, May 28, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

PARTNER STORY

Vote for the “Best Harbor in the U.S.” Contest

 

US Harbors has opened online voting for the “Best Harbor in the U.S. 2020” at https://www.usharbors.com/best-harbor/. Over 100,000 people, from all over the country, participated in the 2019 Best Harbor contest, with the winning harbor – Padanaram, MA – sweeping the results with their highly engaged local community.

 

Voting for this year’s Best Harbor contest will be open to everyone through May 31st. Participation is limited to one vote per user. US Harbors will announce the winner of the 2020 event on Thursday, June 4th. The winning harbor, and the top 3 runners-up, receive special plaques commemorating their win. Additionally, US Harbors throws a special event for the overall winner, with gifts for their community, and media coverage.

 

About the “Best Harbor” Contest: The online contest, started in 2019, uses crowd-sourcing to

determine which harbor is best loved by its community. Participation is open to everyone, but primarily includes the 5 million people who use usharbors.com for their tides/weather/harbor-local information and daily coastal news. The purpose of the contest is to promote the strength and vitality of coastal communities – the winning harbors have been those whose residents have strong communication networks and support for their community. These kinds of networks are vital for effective disaster management, coastal planning, and the overall resilience of a community, its residents, and their economy.

 

About US Harbors: US Harbors is a media and data company in Rockland, Maine specializing in “tides, weather, & local knowledge™” for people who love the coast. The company has data on 1,400 harbors across 30 coastal states and the Great Lakes. The company’s primary website, https://usharbors.com , has been helping people make good decisions about their days on and near the water since 2009. The mission of the company is to promote the sustainability and resilience of coastal communities, both economically and environmentally. US Harbors also sponsors national Harbormaster Appreciation Day (celebrated every year around the country on Oct. 8th www.harbormasterday.com).

Tags:  Partner  Partner Stories  U.S. Harbors 

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Sea Tow Foundation Appoints Seven New Members to North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Press Release

Sea Tow Foundation Appoints Seven New Members to North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council   

The Sea Tow Foundation has appointed seven new marine industry stakeholders to serve on its North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council which was established in 2019. This new slate joins a dozen inaugural council members and will collaborate on a variety of strategies and tactics to promote greater awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives and messages both within the recreational marine industry and the boating consumer space.

 

“We couldn’t be more pleased about the overall composition and the depth of experience in our newly appointed council members,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp  “We were very impressed by the quality of the nominations and the resulting expanded representation that embraces new segments of the marine industry including insurance, podcasting, personal watercraft and sailing.”

 

New inductees were voted in by the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and will serve a two-year term beginning June 1, 2020. Appointees are listed below in alphabetical order:

 

·         Adam Fortier-Brown, Government Relations Manager, MRAA

·         TK Krumenacker, CEO, Admirals Insurance Corp

·         Tyler Mehrl, Category Manager/Steering and Controls, Mercury Marine

·         Mark Pillsbury, Editor, Cruising World Magazine 

·         Angie Scott, Podcast Host, The Woman Angler & Adventurer

·         Eric Shepard, Retired (30 years in the marine and aviation safety industries)

·         Leslie Zlotnick, Advertising Manager, Yamaha Watercraft Group

 

About the Sea Tow Foundation North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Launched in 2019, the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council now includes 19 members representing multiple sectors of the recreational boating industry along with an executive task force. In its first year, the council organized and debuted its first National Boating Industry Safety Awards to recognize the outstanding work of recreational boating organizations in promoting boating safety. The council is actively engaged in supporting a variety of safe boating initiatives including the Sober Skipper Program which encourages boaters to be or to designate a Sober Skipper before leaving the dock. The ultimate goal of the Sober Skipper Program is to eliminate the number of boating accidents and deaths related to Boating Under the Influence on North American waterways.

 

For more information about the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council, please visit: www.boatingsafety.com/nassac

 

To learn more about the Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Program, please visit soberskipper.com.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Boating Under the Influence  NASSAC  North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council  Sober Skipper 

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Get a Sea Tow Membership

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, May 22, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2020

May 22- Get a Sea Tow Membership

Thank you for staying safe and following along during all of National Safe Boating Week. Did you guess our secret phrase?

The secret phrase was SEA TOW.

That’s right! We want to encourage everyone to renew or secure a Sea Tow membership before the start of the summer boating season.  Sea Tow Captains are standing by 24/7/365 to answer your call and provide peace of mind to boaters.

As the non-profit side of the Sea Tow family, the Sea Tow Foundation focuses on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water in the hopes of preventing recreational boating accidents and fatalities. We hope you learned some new boating safety tips this week

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  National Safe Boating Week  Sea Tow Services International  Towing a Boat 

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Wearing Life Jackets is Important

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, May 21, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2020

May 21 - Wearing Life Jackets is Important

Life jackets save lives, but only if they are worn. The U.S. Coast Guard requires children under age 13 to wear them, but anyone older is just required to carry life jackets on board, although a few activities like water skiing require that they be worn. It is best to always wear a life jacket, regardless of this requirement, because you never know when you’ll need one and finding one and putting it on takes too long in an emergency.

It’s also just as important that your life jacket fits properly. Having the wrong size life jacket can prove fatal if you needed it because the life jackets are sized for a certain amount of foam to float a person based on their weight. And, the life jacket fits based on the chest size measurement of the person as well. Click here to learn more about how to properly fit a life jacket on yourself and your children.

If you don’t have enough life jackets for everyone on board or they aren’t the correct sizes for everyone on board, you can stop by a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station and borrow one for free! Our life jacket loaner stations are stocked with Onyx brand life jackets in sizes to fit every member of your family from babies to adults. Simply return the borrowed life jacket at the end of your boating trip so that the next person can use it.

The letter for today is W.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Life Jacket Program  Life Jackets  National Safe Boating Week 

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Sea Tow Foundation Adds New Life Jacket Loaner Stations

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Sea Tow Foundation Adds New Life Jacket Loaner Stations

SOUTHOLD, N.Y. The Sea Tow Foundation – a national nonprofit dedicated to the education and awareness of safe boating practices – announced today that it has partnered with an additional 87 organizations and agencies to add new or restock existing Life Jacket Loaner Stations for the 2020 Summer boating season.

With more than 650 Life Jacket Loaner Stations already located throughout the United States, the Sea Tow Foundation is also offering tips and guidelines for boaters using life jackets from a loaner station, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many agencies and organizations depend on our experience and knowledge in boating safety and our expertise in life jacket loaner programs,” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “Since the virus has impacted all of us in one way or another, we know it is important to provide guidance to boaters that want to borrow life jackets from our loaner stands. We want to continue to ensure that drownings can be prevented through loaner life jackets that are available to be borrowed at no cost.”

With the health and safety of boaters and life jacket loaner station hosts in mind, the Sea Tow Foundation is providing the following tips and guidelines for consideration:

1.    Follow local and state guidelines regarding closures of beaches, boat ramps, marinas, and other locations that have traditionally provided life jacket loaner stations. If one of these locations is closed, a loaner station previously located there will not be available.

2.    Do not go boating or spend time in public if you have a fever or are feeling sick.

3.    Wear your life jacket if you go boating and ensure that children under age 13 are wearing their life jackets while the boat is in motion as required by the U.S. Coast Guard.

4.    Be sure to also follow the other Sea Tow Foundation social distancing tips while boating.

The Sea Tow Foundation has also provided some general cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for cleaning life jackets.  

“We consulted Onyx Outdoor, the manufacturer we purchase our loaner life jackets from, as well as representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, who oversee our grant for the life jacket loaner program, to help develop signage and language to include on every loaner station,” Kulp noted. “Stickers are being provided to each loaner station host in the coming weeks and new loaner station signage will be printed with the wording already on it.”

All Sea Tow Foundation life jacket loaner stations will contain the following language: “Life jackets are provided for the community. Each user who borrows a life jacket is obligated to inspect the life jacket prior to use and to return it clean and in good working order for the next user. These life jackets are not inspected or maintained after each use. Life jackets are borrowed at your own risk.”

Through its Life Jacket Loaner program, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed more than  65,000 life jackets to local businesses, agencies and organizations across the country since 2008 to develop life jacket loaner programs in their local areas.

The more than 650 life jacket loaner stations currently in operation are placed in locations where boaters will have easy access to the life jackets, such as boat ramps, marinas, and parks. Boaters may borrow the life jackets at no cost and are asked to return them when they are finished so that they are available for others to use.

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Open a Book and Learn About Boating Safety

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2020

May 20 - Open a Book and Learn About Boating Safety

How long has it been since you opened a book or a web browser to brush up on your boating safety skills? Today, we challenge you to do just that. Learn a new boating safety fact, take a boating safety class, read your boat or engine’s manual, or learn about general boat maintenance. You never know when you’ll have to put the tips into practice, so it is a good idea to learn about them when it isn’t an emergency. You can even log onto our website at BoatingSafety.com where we provide lots of tips and boating safety information.

There are so many resources that we can’t share all of them, but our partners at America’s Boating Club offer online courses on power boating, sailing, fishing and paddling, plus the chance to get together with other boat lovers on a regular basis. Whatever your boating lifestyle, they have you covered.

Once you’ve completed the course – Open your email and share with us what you’ve learned! 

Today’s letter to the secret phrase is O.

Tags:  2019-20  America's Boating Club  Boating Safety  Boating Safety Course  National Safe Boating Week 

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Text Someone Where you are Going

Posted By Gail Kulp, Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2020

May 19 - Text Someone Where you are Going

 

Texting or telling someone your float plan for the day ensures that if your boat excursion extends longer than planned or if you run into trouble, someone will know where you were headed and have an idea of where to send rescuers to look for you.

Thousands of hours and dollars are spent searching for missing boaters each year. While many of these searches are for a good reason, a number of them are due to the fact that no one knew when the boaters were supposed to be back or where they were going in the first place.

Taking five minutes to fill out a float plan would have prevented many of these needless searches or allowed rescuers to narrow down the area in which they are searching. The purpose of a float plan is to explain where you plan to boat, how long you will be gone, and when you plan to return. In addition, you should provide a number to call if you fail to return by the appointed time. You should give your float plan to a trusted friend or family member staying on the store. And, at the end of your boating trip, don't forget to call your friend or family member to let him/her know that you made it home safely. Click this link to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary's Float Plan Form. Please note that this is not filed with the Coast Guard and will still need to be printed and given to a friend or family member.

Today’s letter is T.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Float Plan  National Safe Boating Week  US Coast Guard Auxiliary 

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