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Boating Under the Influence & Life Jacket Age Reference State by State

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Thursday, April 30, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Boating Under the Influence & Life Jacket Age Reference State by State

Use this quick table for boating under the influence (BUI) limits, penalties, and life jacket age requirements from each state and territory in the United States.

The US Coast Guard requires properly fitting life jackets be readily accessible and within reach of all passengers on board, along with a throwable floatation device. The table below includes some requirements for life jackets on human-powered vessels such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboard or other similar craft however for specific details, please check with your state for more details.  

For children, the US Coast Guard requires that when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions are for when the children are below deck or within an enclosed cabin. To learn how to choose the correct children’s life jacket that fits properly, click this link. 

Information on this table includes a link back to its source for each state and boaters should check with the states where they intend to boat before heading out on the water to ensure that there have been no changes. The information in this chart will be reviewed annually by Sea Tow Foundation and updated as needed. The last review was completed in April 2020. 

We appreciate your comments and you can comment anytime at the end of this blog post.

 

 

 

STATE OR TERRITORY

BLOOD ALCOHOL LIMIT %

BUI PENALTY

LIFE JACKET AGE REQUIREMENT

Federal

n/a

n/a

Federal Law requires that when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions for when below deck or within an enclosed cabin. State laws may vary.

Alabama

.08

Large fines and/or jail time plus suspension of operator's certification.

All persons under eight (8) years of age, on any vessel, must, at all times, wear a U. S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device that must be strapped, snapped, or zipped securely in place; except, that no personal flotation device should be required when inside an enclosed cabin or enclosed sleeping space.

Alaska

.08

Driving under the influence and the penalties for conviction also apply to boat operators.

 

Persons under 13 must wear a life jacket when in an open boat, on the deck of a boat, or when being towed (i.e. tubing, waterskiing)

Arizona

.08

Th estate of Arizona's operating under the influence (OUI) law mirrors the states vehicular driving under the influence DUI laws and penalties.

All Vessels, including paddleboards and kayaks, must have at least one USCG-approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. The only exceptions are sailboards and certain racing shells. All children 12 years of aga and younger must wear a USCG-approved wearable life jacket while underway on the any vessel. the life jacket must be fastened according to the manufacturer’s recommended use and must fit the child properly.

Arkansas

.08

Upon a first conviction, a person will lose his or her driver's license for a period of 6 months. In addition, jail and fine may be included.

Children under 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG-approved PFD securely fastened to their person at all times while on any vessel. Except if the child is within the enclosed area of a houseboat or cruiser, or within the area enclosed by railing on a party barge, cruiser, or houseboat, and the vessel is not underway.

California

.08 or less

Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a misdemeanor and could carry a penalty of one year in the county jail, or a fine, or both.

No person may operate or give permission to operate a vessel sixteen feet or more in length unless at least one wearable personal flotation device is on board for each person, plus at least one throwable personal flotation device, which is immediately available. Under state law, it is an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $250, to operate a vessel of any length unless every child under 13 years of age on board is wearing a Type I, II, III or V Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Colorado

.08

It is a misdemeanor for any person to operate or be in actual physical control of a vessel in this state while Under the influence of alcohol; any controlled substance; any combination of alcohol and

any controlled substance.

requires all operators and passengers to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets and requires operators to use a lanyard switch. children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a PFD whenever their vessel is on the water, except when they are in an enclosed cabin or below deck.

Connecticut

.08

The penalty for a first violation may be: a fine; suspension of boating privileges, jail, probation, and or hours community service

Be worn by children under 13 years old on any vessel that is underway unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Be worn by anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31.

Delaware

.08

Fines, imprisoned, or both.

Every operator of a recreational boat shall be responsible for providing for the protection of any child 12 years of age or under by having any such child who is aboard a recreational boat upon the waters of this State, properly wear a Type I, II, III or V Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device which is in good serviceable condition and of the proper size. This section shall not apply to any child who is below deck or in an enclosed cabin or while said recreational boat is anchored or moored.

Florida

.08

A person is guilty of the offense of boating under the influence is subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.

A person may not operate a vessel less than 26 feet in length on the waters of this state unless every person under 6 years of age on board the vessel is wearing a personal flotation device currently approved by the United States Coast Guard and used in accordance with the United States Coast Guard approval label while such vessel is underway. For the purpose of this section, “underway” means at all times except when a vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore, or aground.

Georgia

.08

Those arrested for boating under the influence may lose their privilege to operate a boat or PWC until they successfully complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program; and will also be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fines and/or prison time.

All vessels must have a least one US Coast Guard USCG-approved Type I, II, III, or V person flotation device (PFD), sometimes called life jacket, for each person on board. Type V PFDs are acceptable only when worn and securely fastened. Children under 13 years old are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD while on board any moving vessel. Except if the child is in a fully enclosed cabin.

Hawaii

.08

Violations may be subject to fines and fees.

Children 12 years of age and under must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while aboard a vessel operating or anchored offshore.

Idaho

.08

BUI is a misdemeanor and can include time in jail and/or a fine; and to attend and successfully complete a course on safe boating.

Children 14 and under must wear an approved life jacket when they are aboard a boat 19 feet in length or less whenever the boat is underway or under power. This applies to manually propelled boats such as canoes and rafts in addition to powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and fishing float tubes.

Illinois

.08

operating under the influence (OUI) is a Class “A” misdemeanor and can included jail and fines.

All vessels must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)–approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD), sometimes called life jacket, for each person on board or being towed. All vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks, also must carry one USCG–approved throwable PFD. All children under the age of 13 must wear a PFD on vessels less than 26 feet in length when underway, unless they are below decks in an enclosed cabin or on a vessel operating on private property.

Indiana

.08

A first offense may lose all their driving privileges (motorized boat and motor vehicle), penalties and fines.

Children under 13 years of age are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when underway on any boat.

Iowa

.08

Boating under the influence violations will be subject to fines,

Imprisonment, and a loss of operating privileges.

 

A person shall not operate a vessel in Iowa unless every person on board the vessel who is age 12 and under is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. A life jacket must be worn when the vessel is underway, which means when a vessel is not at anchor, tied to a dock or the bank/shore or aground.

A child age 12 and under in an enclosed cabin, below deck, or aboard a commercial vessel with a capacity of 25 persons or more is exempt.

 

Kansas

.08

Violations can include imprisonment, a fine or both.

Anyone12 years old and youngermust wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat or being towed behind the boat on skis or a tube.

Kentucky

.08

Under the influence of any substance that impairs the operator’s driving ability may be subject to fines and possible jail time.

Persons under 12 years of age must wear a PFD while in the open part of a boat that is under way.

Louisiana

.08

Penalties include suspension or revocation of boating privileges and driver's license.

Children 16 years of age and younger are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway on a vessel less than 26 feet long.

Maine

.08

Penalties include fine, imprisonment, or both.

Children 10 years of age and younger are required to wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while on board a watercraft unless the watercraft is docked, anchored, or moored.

Maryland

.08

Violators subject to misdemeanor, fine, imprisonment, or both.

 

All children under the age of 13 must WEAR a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (Type I, II, III or V) while underway on a recreational vessel under 21 feet in length on Maryland waters.

Massachusetts

.08

Penalties include the loss of a motor vehicle driver's license.

Life preservers are required to be worn by: (1) youth less than 12 years of age (2) personal watercraft users (3) waterskiers (4) canoeists/kayakers from September 15 - May 15.

Michigan

.08

Boating under the influence violators are guilty of a misdemeanor, and or a felony.

All children under 6 years of age to wear a USCG–approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any vessel while underway.

Minnesota

.08

Violator subject to fines, fees, jail time, loss of boating privileges, and felony charges.

Children under 10 years old are required to wear a properly fitted life jacket while a boat in underway.

Mississippi

.08

Fines, or imprisonment, and violator must complete a boating safety course.

Anyone 12 years and younger must wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device at all times while the vessel is underway.

Missouri

.08

A person commits the offense of boating while intoxicated if he or she operates a vessel while in an intoxicated condition. The offense of boating while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor.

Each person under the age of seven who is on board any watercraft shall wear a personal flotation device which is approved by the United States Coast Guard. This law does not apply when the person under the age of seven is in a part of a watercraft which is fully enclosed, where such enclosure will prevent such person from falling out of or being thrown from the watercraft.

Montana

.08 and less

Subject to a fine or jail or both.

Children under 12 years of age must wear a life jacket on a boat less than 26 feet in length that is in motion.

Nebraska

.08

Subject to a fine, or jail, the loss of boating privileges, and to attend an alcoholism treatment program.

No child under 13 is allowed aboard any vessel when not wearing a Coast Guard-approved life preserver except when hunting waterfowl in an anchored boat. Operators shall be held responsible.

Nevada

.08

Subject to a fine, or jail, felony charges.

Children under age 13.

New Hampshire

.08

Subject to class B misdemeanor, fines, boating privilege suspension, driver’s license suspension, anignition interlock device (IID), and or Impaired Driver Care Management Program.

All children age 12 or under must wear an approved vest or jacket.

New Jersey

.08

Subject to fine, loss of the privilege to operate a vessel, forfeiture of your driver’s license.

Any child 12 years of age or younger must WEAR a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD whenever the vessel is underway. If the child is inside a fully enclosed cabin that is a permanent, non-removable part of the vessel that is designed to carry passengers, then the child is not required to wear the PFD.

New Mexico

.08

Subject to jail, fines, boating safety course.

A child age twelve or under who is aboard the vessel to wear a personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard while the vessel is underway, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin."

New York

.08

Subject to fines, imprisonment, suspension of operator privileges.

Children under the age of 12 aboard pleasure vessels les than 65 feet in length, canoes, kayaks, or rowboats, unless in a totally enclosed cabin. Pleasure vessels less than 21 feet in length from November 1 to May 1.

North Carolina

.08

Subject to class 2 misdemeanors, a fine and or jail.

No person may use a recreational vessel unless each child under 13 years old on board is wearing an appropriate PFD approved by the Coast Guard unless: Each child not wearing such a PFD is below decks or in an enclosed cabin. The vessel is not underway. (Vessels that are anchored or tied to shore are not underway.) This new law does not apply to commercial vessels.

North Dakota

.10

Subject to operator privileges may be revoked in addition to other penalties.

All persons 10 years of age or younger present on the vessel, wear an appropriately sized and properly fastened U.S. Coast Guard approved type I, II or III wearable personal flotation device while the vessel is in operation.

Ohio

.08

Fine and or jail.

Any child less than 10 years of age must wear a properly fitted life jacket.

Oklahoma

.08

A fine.

Children under 13 years of age must wear a PFD whenever underway on a vessel less than 26 feet in length.

Oregon

.08

Losing boat privileges and fines.

All children under 13 are required to wear a life jacket on boats less than 19 feet in length, unless in a fully enclosed area.

Pennsylvania

.02

Penalties include loss of boating privileges, significant fines and imprisonment.

Children 12 years of age and younger on Commonwealth waters when underway on any boat 20 feet or less in length and in all canoes and kayaks.

Rhode Island

.08

Fines, fees, possible jail time, loss of operating privileges, and attendance at a boating safety course.

A child under 13 years of age in a recreational vessel less than 65 feet (19.8 meters) in length on the waters of this state shall require that the child wear a wearable PFD approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while underway, unless below deck in a closed cabin.

South Carolina

.08 and less

Subject to a fine, jail, community service, imprisonment, and suspension of boating privilege.

Persons under the age of 12 must wear one at all times on vessels 16 feet in length or shorter.

South Dakota

.08

Subject to aclass 1 misdemeanor, fine, and or jail.

Children on board under seven years of age is wearing as US Coast Guard approved PFD unless the chide is within a cable or below deck.

Tennessee

.08

A fine, jail, loosing operating privileges.

Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG-approved PFD at all times while on the open deck of a recreational vessel that is not anchored, moored, or aground.

Texas

.08

Fines and or jail.

Children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD while underway.

Utah

.08 and less

(BUI) is the same as driving under the influence (DUI) and has the same penalties including suspension of driver license, possible jail time and fines.

Passengers, 12-years-old and younger must wear a properly sized coast guard approved life jacket whenever a boat is in operation.

Vermont

.08 and less

Subject to fines, jail time, or both; loss of operating privileges; and completion of an alcohol program.

All boaters under the age of 12 must wear an approved U.S. Coast Guard Type I, II or III life jacket while underway on an open deck of any vessel. A person under 16 years of age a board a sailboard must be wearing a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

Virginia

.08

Fines, and or jail time, loss of operating privileges, attendance at an alcohol safety program

any child under age 13 on the vessel unless each child is either: Wearing an appropriate life jacket approved by the Coast Guard; or

Below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

 

Washington

.08

Fine and jail.

Children ages 12 years and younger to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or vest on vessels less than 19 feet long.

West Virginia

.08 and less

Subject to a misdemeanor and may receive a fine and time in jail,

Children that are 12 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on the deck of any boat that is underway.

Wisconsin

.08

Fine and or time in jail, and possible completion of a boating safety course

Children under the age of 13 to wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway in an open vessel.

Wyoming

.10

Subject to a misdemeanor, time in jail, suspended boater’s operating privileges.

Children 12 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Washington District of Columbia

.08

Fine and or time in jail.

Required when a vessel is underway, children under 13 years of age must wear their life jacket. Exceptions for when below deck or within an enclosed cabin. State laws may vary.

American Samoa Territory

.08

Revocation of motorboat license.

Children 13 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Guam Territory

.08

Revocation of motorboat license.

Children 13 years of age and under are required to wear a life jacket while the watercraft is underway.

Northern Mariana Islands Territory

n/a

n/a

n/a

Puerto Rico Territory

n/a

n/a

Any child under 12 in a vessel while moving. All users of a PWC.

US Virgin Islands Territory

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

Tags:  boating safety  Boating Under the Influence  life jacket  Life Jacket Age Requirement  Sober Skipper 

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Get Ready for National Safe Boating Week with BoatingSafety.com

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, April 30, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Get Ready for National Safe Boating Week with BoatingSafety.com

National Safe Boating Week is less than 2 weeks away and the Sea Tow Foundation wants to use this week to remind boaters everywhere about the importance of keeping boating safe and fun all year round.

National Safe Boating Week is a focused, week-long event that brings awareness to the importance of safety prior to the start of the summer boating season. This year, National Safe Boating Week will be celebrated from May 16-22.

The Sea Tow Foundation is celebrating National Safe Boating Week with BoatingSafety.com and we have compiled an entire media kit that contains images, social media posts, blog posts and daily boating safety tips to help boaters have a safe and fun time on the water. Plus, clues will be given out every day to lead to a mystery phrase at the end of the week.

And the Sea Tow Foundation is starting to celebrate National Safe Boating Week a day early with “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” on Friday, May 15. With many people working at home or in different circumstances than they normally would, we want to celebrate our new normal and are asking people to take photos of themselves and the people they are living with while wearing life jackets and then post them to social media on May 15 and tag @SeaTowFoundation and use the hashtags #NSBW20 #BoatingSafety

To get a copy of the Sea Tow Foundation’s media kit, visit our website to download it for free. Or you can follow the Sea Tow Foundation on Facebook and Instagram and share their posts each day during National Safe Boating Week.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  National Safe Boating Week  Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day 

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Exercise at Home with a Life Jacket to Get Ready for Boating Season

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, April 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020

Exercise at Home with a Life Jacket to Get Ready for Boating Season

As many states are under stay-at-home orders at this time, exercise is taking on many forms. Some people are taking walks around their neighborhoods or running up and down the stairs in their apartment buildings. Other people are taking advantage of treadmills and stationary bikes that they already owned while others are turning to exercise videos for inspiration. With that in mind, the Sea Tow Foundation has created a unique full-body workout that utilizes a life jacket to help you get ready for boating season.

The life jacket exercise workout video features the Sea Tow Foundation’s Executive Director, Gail Kulp, in her living room. No special equipment is needed other than a pair of athletic shoes and a life jacket. The Sea Tow Foundation has partnered with Onyx life jackets for the nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program which features over 650 life jacket loaner stations at marinas, fuel docks and boat ramps.  Kulp explains that the life jacket exercise workout involves six different moves – two that are focused on strength, two that are focused on cardio and the final two that are focused on the abdominal muscles (also known as the abs).  Each move is completed for one minute and then at the end of the six moves, there is a one-minute rest before completing the circuit three more times. When including a warm-up and cool-down of a couple of minutes, the entire life jacket exercise routine will take exactly 30 minutes to complete.

A variety of free timers are available to be downloaded to a phone or tablet and can be programmed for the 1-minute intervals for the life jacket exercise workout. Music of your choice can also be played while working out. The full exercise routine is listed at the bottom and Kulp demonstrates all of the moves in the video. She also includes some default moves if jumping or running in place is too difficult for the cardio portion of the life jacket exercise workout.

The life jacket workout exercise video is just one of many tools being debuted by the Sea Tow Foundation to help groups and individuals participate in National Safe Boating Week which takes place from May 16-22, 2020. The Sea Tow Foundation has developed a media kit, images sized for social media and we have recorded a webinar explaining how to use these tools and many others in your local area.

We’d love to hear from you after trying this life jacket exercise workout with your comments below. Was the workout easy or hard? And, we hope that you’ll connect with us on Facebook and Instagram before National Safe Boating Week to join in all the fun!

Direct Link to Life Jacket Exercise Workout Video 

Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Exercise Routine:

Warm-up (2 minutes)

                Stretch
                Jog in Place

Circuit (1 minute each – repeat for total of 4 times)

1.       Squat while taking life jacket on and off

2.       Lunge life jacket pass

3.       Jumping Jacks while wearing life jacket

4.       High Knees while wearing life jacket

5.       Abdominal Twists passing the life jacket

6.       Dynamic Plank while wearing life jacket

7.       Rest

Cool-Down (2 minutes)

                Stretch as needed

 

Disclaimer: Before starting this or any exercise routine, the Sea Tow Foundation strongly recommends that you consult with your medical team. The Sea Tow Foundation staff are not experts in exercise techniques nor medical conditions. By voluntarily participating in this exercise routine, you understand that there is a possibility of injury and you assume all risk of injury to yourself and agree to release and hold harmless the Sea Tow Foundation from any and all claims or course of action.

               

Tags:  2019-20  Exercise  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Exercise  Life Jacket Loaner Program  National Safe Boating Week  Onyx Outdoor  Workout video 

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Emergency Beacons Transmit Peace of Mind on The Water

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 6, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 2, 2020

Emergency Beacons Transmit Peace of Mind on The Water

Whether you’re planning a long weekend trip on the water or a short voyage offshore to fish, don’t let a lack of preparedness come in the way of having a fun and safe trip. On every boater’s checklist should be a 406 MHz beacon, such as a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for yourself, and an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) for your boat.

An EPIRB is registered to the vessel and is designed to be mounted on a boat; it will emit a distress signal while floating for over 48 hours continuously. A PLB is smaller in size and is intended to be worn by the boater – usually clipped onto the boater’s life jacket.  While waterproof, you still must keep them out of the water when activated and they will work for over 24 hours continuously.

“If something were to go wrong, having the ability to let rescuers know where you are is critical,” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of safe boating practices. “Although emergency situations may not arise – and we hope they don’t – it’s better to be prepared than not. EPIRBs and PLBs are helpful tools to let your rescuers find you quickly.”

PLBs and EPIRBs have saved more than 41,000 lives worldwide since the 1980s. ACR Electronics and the Sea Tow Foundation are using April 6th (406 Day) as a way to bring greater awareness to the technology that not only keeps boaters safe, but also the rescuers.

So, why consider a beacon? When you are out on the water, your cell phone might be out of range, and incidents happen just as quickly on water as they do on land. Beacons float and are waterproof. When a beacon is activated, it sends your information up to the search and rescue satellites, which is then sent to a Coast Guard Command Center in your area, where a search and rescue watch commander will be alerted, and help can be dispatched within minutes.

Nearly all of Sea Tow’s 600-plus captains use ACR beacons while out on the job. Do you have one, or have you ever had to use one while on the water? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

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Press Release: Sea Tow Foundation Launches New Website

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, April 2, 2020

Press Release: Sea Tow Foundation Launches New Website

Hopes to Inform Boaters of General Boating Safety Tips and Ways to Connect with Each Other

 

SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – In a time of social distancing and increased Internet use, the Sea Tow Foundation has announced the launch of its newly redesigned website: www.boatingsafety.com.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we know that a lot of people are suddenly at home for extended periods of time and many of them are now working remotely as well, “” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water. “The one thing that all boaters have in common is the desire to always plan that next boating trip whether it is going to be this weekend or next month or sometime in the future and the new Sea Tow Foundation website has lots of materials to help boaters plan a safe and fun day on the water on their next boating trip.”

BoatingSafety.com features a streamlined, modern design, user-friendly functionality, and easy access to essential information about the programs that the Foundation offers. The new website is also completely functional and responsive on both a mobile device or a computer. Along with an abundance of articles about boating safety tips and practices, the new website will also include links to the following information:

·         Life Jacket Loaner Stations

·         Sober Skipper Program

·         Boating Safety Community

·         Donation Opportunities

A new feature on the site is the “Get Involved” page, which allows the Sea Tow Foundation supporters to interact with each other in ways they’ve never explored before. This feature is intended to provide an even greater value to the boating community nationwide, at no charge to them. Registration is free and users not only receive access to the Sea Tow Foundation’s new e-newsletter, but will also be able to connect with groups of dedicated people who are already working together to eliminate boating under the influence and reduce drowning incidents.

In addition, the Sea Tow Foundation’s blog has been completely redesigned and is now easier to search for articles about boating safety classes, seasonal boating safety tips, being prepared for a day on the water, and so much more.

Through its Life Jacket Loaner Program, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed more than 50,000 life jackets to local businesses and organizations across the country since 2008 to develop life jacket loaner stations 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.

Additional information on the Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Program is also available. The goal of the program is to help eliminate Boating Under the Influence (BUI) by encouraging all boaters to make the safe and smart choice to be or to designate a sober skipper before every boating trip. BUI is against the law in every state and territory and in all sizes and types of boats whether they have a motor or not.

“The wind, vibration, noise, and the sun that you experience while boating can impair balance, coordination and concentration all on their own. Adding alcohol or drugs intensifies these effects,” Kulp said. “Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in boating accidents every year, but if every boat were to have a Sober Skipper at the helm, this would be 100% preventable.” 

In addition to its programs, the site also features an online store which includes many printed materials and program supplies to help support the Life Jacket Loaner and the Sober Skipper Programs. Many of these items are completely free to order and can be downloaded and printed at home or they can be shipped right to your home at no charge to you.

 

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Dos and Don’ts for Boating Safety and Social Distancing During COVID 19

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, March 27, 2020

Dos and Don’ts for Boating Safety and Social Distancing During COVID 19

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.

 

1.       Do respect your state and local authorities. If a beach, boat ramp or marina is closed, please do not use it. If you don’t know the current regulations or restrictions for your boating area, you can contact your state boating agency and ask about access points and other important information. Your local Sea Tow captain can also be a great source of information as well.

 

2.       Don’t go boating if you or someone in your boating group is feeling sick or thinks they have been exposed to someone who is sick. Stay home and follow the CDC guidelines.

 

3.       Do go boating only with the people who are currently living with you. Do not invite your friends or extended family to join in during this time of social distancing.

 

4.       Don’t raft up with other boats while out on the water or spend time on the beach or at the dock in groups. Keep your boat and the people in your boat at least 6 feet away from other boats and people.

 

5.       Do continue to carry all of the required boating safety equipment including life jackets, flares, navigation lights, a horn or whistle, a first aid kit, and everything else on your pre-departure checklist.

 

6.       Don’t drink and boat. Continue to be or designate a Sober Skipper for all of your boating trips and remember that you can easily Take the Pledge to be the Sober Skipper on our website at www.soberskipper.com.

 

7.       Do pack your own lunch, drinks and snacks for your day on the water. Many restaurants and marina stores may not be open, so you want to make sure you have everything you need on board.

 

8.       Don’t forget to fuel up before going out on the boat. Fuel docks may not be in operation during this time, so you want to make sure your boat is fueled up and pay attention to the gas gauge during your trip so that you don’t run out.

 

9.       Do clean your boat after going out. This will not only prevent aquatic invasive species from hitchhiking on your boat, but also will ensure there is no trash or other items left lying around. Secure all valuables as well. With state and local regulations changing rapidly, you may not be able to easily return to your boat to take care of things later.

 

10.   Don’t forget to take photos of your day on the water and share them with us on social media @SeaTowFoundation on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

Tags:  boating and socal distancing  Boating Safety  Coronavirus  COVID  COVID 19 boating  Sober Skipper  Social Distancing 

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Sea Tow Foundation Launches Our Newly Redesigned Website

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, March 12, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Launches Our Newly Redesigned Website

We are excited to launch our newly redesigned website that is packed with information for recreational boaters to help keep family and friends safe on the water. The refreshed website also has resources for the marine industry to utilize in their promotions to reach out to their customers.

One of the amazing features of our new site, which is still found at boatingsafety.com, is that it is now completely functional and responsive on mobile and desktop versions allowing information to be easily found and shared related to our Life Jacket Loaner Program and our Sober Skipper program as well as plenty of other boating safety resources including our online shop, which now boasts plenty of printed materials and program supplies available for free or can be downloaded and printed at no charge at your home or office.

A favorite feature on our “Get Involved” page allows our supporters to interact with each other in ways we’ve never explored before which will provide an even greater value to the boating community nationwide, at no charge to them. Registration is free and you’ll not only receive access to our new newsletter, but also be able to join groups of dedicated people who are already working together to eliminate boating under the influence and reduce drowning incidents.

Our blog has been completely redesigned and is now easier to search for articles about boating safety classes, seasonal boating safety tips, being prepared for a day on the water, and so much more.

We hope you like the changes, and if you have any feedback, please let us know on Facebook and Instagram or click on the Contact Us link on our website.

Tags:  2019-20  boating safety  Life Jacket  Sea Tow  Sober Skipper  Website. 

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Spring Break Boating Safety Tips

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, March 9, 2020

Spring Break Boating Safety Tips

Spring is here which means it is time for that epic spring break trip that you’ve had planned for months! Warm weather, sunny skies, and fun with friends or family members on the boat are just days away, but before you pack those bags and head out on your spring break trip, the Sea Tow Foundation has some tips to help you have a safe AND fun spring break trip.

1.    Take a Boating Safety Class Now. Many states or other countries require a boating license or for the boater to at least take a boating safety class before renting a boat or putting your boat in their waters. Whether you’re a new boat owner or have years of experience, you’ll pick up some pointers and boost your marine confidence as well as satisfy requirements for boaters in that particular location. Courses are offered online or in person through our friends at the USCG Auxiliary or the America’s Boating Club.

2.    Ask for Advice. Spring break trips often involve traveling to new and exciting destinations. If you are unfamiliar with the bay, lake, river or ocean you’re headed to—especially on vacation—it’s smart to talk to locals. Sea Tow captains in the area will happily share water conditions, current patterns, routes and (bonus!) wildlife watching tips.

3.    Pack the sunscreen. If you’re not used to the sun and warmer temperatures or with being outdoors for a good portion of the day, you will soon by surprised by a nasty sunburn. Put on some sunscreen and don’t forget a hat and sunglasses, too.

4.    Reserve now. If you are planning to rent a boat during spring break, make sure you’ve got the rental confirmed well in advance of your trip and reach out to the company ahead of time to see if you need to bring anything for the boat with you. They should provide you with an orientation to your rental boat as well as all of the safety equipment required. If you are taking your own boat on spring break, make sure your boat trailer is ready to roll and that you know the boat ramp locations as well as where you can park your vehicle and trailer while you’re out on the water.

5.    Once you get to your trip, follow the ABCD rule.

 

a.    Always Wear Life Jackets. Every passenger should wear a properly fitted U.S Coast Guard (USCG)-approved life jacket. And remember that adult-size life jackets aren’t meant for children. If you’ve forgotten to pack your own or need extras, you can always stop by a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station to borrow them for the day.

b.    Bring along safety gear. Emergency preparation = peace of mind. No matter the size of your boat, these are the absolute essentials to keep on board:

  •                         Marine VHF radio
  •                         First aid kit
  •                         Fire extinguisher
  •                         Tool kit
  •                         Flashlight and extra batteries
  •                         Duct tape
  •                         Bucket
  •                         Waterproof whistle or horn
  •                         Lines
  •                        Signaling mirror

c.     Check—and Recheck—the Weather. Choppy waters can’t always be predicted. If conditions aren’t favorable, don’t chance it. There are many apps and websites that help you know the conditions before you go. One of our favorite tide and weather apps can be found at Windfinder.com.

d.    Designate a Sober Skipper. Never, ever operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The wind, sun and boat vibration all contribute to increased impairment, even after a single beer. Responsible boaters carry plenty of water, non-alcoholic drinks and food on board. To learn more check out our  Sober Skipper program.

6.    Share Your Trip to Social. Did your spring break boating trip really happen if you didn’t document it? Be sure to tag us in all your photos and adventures on Instagram (@seatowfoundation) and Facebook (@SeaTowFoundation)

 

Have a fantastically fun and super safe spring break!

 

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety Course  Fire Extinguisher  Float Plan  Life Jacket  Sober Skipper  spring break  Weather 

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Thousands Learn Life Jacket Safety Lessons at Miami Boat Show

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, February 24, 2020

Thousands Learn Life Jacket Safety Lessons at Miami Boat Show

The Sea Tow Foundation has announced that more than 86,000 individuals visited this year’s Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show to see the new boats and boating gear and the Sea Tow Foundation made sure that the attendees received a quick course in the importance of wearing life jackets when on or around the water.

As a result of the show’s captive audience, tens of thousands of boating enthusiasts interacted with staff and volunteers from the Sea Tow Foundation, and nearly 500 of those decided to spend extra time learning more about life jackets. Additionally, 365 children borrowed life jackets for the day while they perused the docks and took part in the sea trials that were available.

For the 5th straight year, the Sea Tow Foundation hosted Life Jacket Loaner Stations at the show, which became the organization’s epicenter for education. All of the Foundation’s life jackets were made available from a generous donation from Onyx and the space for the life jacket loaner stations was provided by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Volunteers from local schools, businesses and other organizations staffed the Life Jacket Loaner Stations and assisted the Sea Tow Foundation staff in fitting children with life jackets before they ventured onto the docks with their families.

In order to further promote the importance of life jacket use, the Sea Tow Foundation launched its first-ever Life Jacket Selfie Giveaway Contest at this year’s show. Through partnerships with NMMA, Onyx, FELL Marine, FishGillz, Navionics, Source4 and Formula Boats, the Sea Tow Foundation gave away five prize packs valued at $3,600 to  participants who took a selfie while wearing one of the Sea Tow Foundation life jackets at the boat show and posting that photo to social media using the hashtag #LifeJackets4theWin and tagging the Sea Tow Foundation. The contest saw more than 100 people participate in the five days that the contest was open and winners of the prize packs were randomly selected from the social media posts.

“Overall, this year’s Miami International Boat Show was our most successful yet,” said Gail R. Kulp, the Sea Tow Foundation’s executive director. “Not only were we able to interact with 100,000 attendees and teach nearly 500 individuals about life jacket use, we also engaged with countless numbers of boaters, both at the show and watching at home, through our inaugural life jacket selfie contest. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things turned out.”

The  Life Jacket Loaner Stations at this year’s boat show are part of the Sea Tow Foundation’s nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program, which hosts more than 600 loaner stations across 43 states. The Sea Tow Foundation also offers other pop-up life jacket loaner stations at the Tampa, FL Boat Show and the Norwalk, CT Boat Show in addition to the stations featured at the Miami International Boat Show.

 

Tags:  2020  Boating Safety  Contest  Giveaway  Life Jacket Selfie  Press Release  Prizes 

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Life Jacket Selfie Contest to be held at Miami International Boat Show

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, February 10, 2020
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2020

Life Jacket Selfie Contest to be held at Miami International Boat Show

(Southold, NY) The Sea Tow Foundation has announced it will be launching a selfie giveaway contest at the 2020 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show that will help educate boat lovers of all ages on the importance of wearing life jackets. PRESS RELEASE

Through partnerships with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Onyx Outdoor, FELL Marine, FishGillz, Navionics, Source4 and Formula Boats, the Sea Tow Foundation will be giving away five prize packages valued at $3,600 to Miami International Boat Show attendees and boaters watching from home.

To participate in the contest, the Sea Tow Foundation is asking Miami International Boat Show attendees to stop by its Life Jacket Loaner Stations located at piers 2 and 5 to try on an Onyx life jacket and take a selfie while wearing it in front of the station. Attendees are also welcome to borrow the life jackets to walk the docks and take them out on the water during the sea trails.

Those who are unable to attend the Miami International Boat Show can still enter to win by downloading and printing a graphic from the Sea Tow Foundation’s online store and taking a selfie with this print-out.

Contestants must then upload their photos to Facebook or Instagram, tag the Sea Tow Foundation @SeaTowFoundation, and use the hashtag #LifeJackets4theWin. One winner will be chosen at random each day of the show – February 14-17 – to win a prize pack with one additional winner being chosen from the at-home audience at the end of the week.

Each prize pack is valued at over $700 and includes:

  • An Impulse A-24 In-Sight Automatic Inflatable life jacket from Onyx Outdoor
  • FELL Marine’s MOB+ Wireless Man Overboard engine cutoff system
  • 4 Tickets to next year’s Miami International Boat Show, courtesy of NMMA
  • A pair of floating, polarized FishGillz Sunglasses
  • A duffel bag from Source 4
  • A Navionics Boating Charts App

The Sea Tow Foundation extends special thanks to Formula Boats for its generous donation that will be used to offset shipping costs of the prize packs to each of the winners.

Gail R. Kulp, the Sea Tow Foundation’s executive director, said it’s great to see so many within the boating industry rally behind the Sea Tow Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to have received so much support from our partners within the boating industry,” Kulp said. “Our giveaway contest will be a great way to get boaters’ attention and help continue to educate the public that boating can be safe and fun.”

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Stations available to Miami International Boat Show attendees are part of the Foundation’s nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program, which hosts more than 600 stations on waterways throughout the country where boaters can borrow and return life jackets at no charge. In addition, the Sea Tow Foundation also operates the Sober Skipper Program, which encourages boaters to make the decision to be or to designate a drug and alcohol-free operator for their boats before every trip.

For a full list of contest rules and to see photos of the prizes, click here.

 

 

 

Tags:  2020  Boating Safety  Contest  Giveaway  Life Jacket Selfie  Press Release  Prizes 

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