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July 4th Safety Tips for Boaters Watching Fireworks Displays

Posted By Gail Kulp, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

July 4th Safety Tips for Boaters Watching Fireworks Displays

Over the long July 4th weekend, countless coastal and lakeside towns across the country mount fireworks displays, many of which will launch from the water. These exciting events draw hundreds of people, however with social distancing in effect right now, the best option to see these shows is to be on your boat for a “ring-side seat” for the show. Boating at night and in the smoke caused by the fireworks can prove challenging, so the Sea Tow Foundation has put together 7 safety tips for boaters watching a July 4th fireworks display from the water:

1.    Wear your life jacket! Make sure everyone onboard the boat is wearing either a traditional life jacket that fits properly, or an inflatable PFD. Navigating at night in smoky conditions can be just as dangerous as boating in stormy weather or in fog.

 

2.    Designate a Sober Skipper to stay at the helm all evening and be responsible for returning the boat and its passengers safely to shore after the fireworks display is over.

 

3.    Watch your weight. Don’t overload the boat with passengers. The number of seats available on board is not always the best indicator of capacity. Look for the boat’s capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the boat’s manual.

 

4.    Things look different at night. Remember that in the dark, visual navigation markers you rely on during the day may be invisible. Chart your route to your fireworks-viewing spot in advance and use GPS-enabled electronics to help you find it, if necessary.

 

5.    Listen Up! Follow the directions issued to boaters by U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary officials as to where you may safely anchor to view the fireworks away from sparks and ash.

 

6.    Relax and enjoy the show. Don’t be in a rush to get home; let some of the boat traffic clear out before you raise anchor after the fireworks display is over.



7.    Lights on. Don’t forget to check that your navigation lights are working and carry a couple of extra flashlights and batteries just in case. You don’t want to operate your boat in the dark.

 

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

 

Tags:  2019-20  boating safety  fireworks  holiday  july 4th  Life Jacket  night boating  Sober Skipper 

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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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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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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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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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Sea Tow Foundation Holiday Gift Ideas for the Boater in Your Life

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, December 13, 2019
Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Holiday Gift Ideas for the Boater in Your Life

 

Tis the season to be jolly! That means it’s time to wrap up your holiday shopping and grab some last-minute gifts for friends and family.

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Many people have the thought that boaters are difficult to shop for, but we have a whole boat load of partners that make the perfect gifts for your favorite boater this holiday season. Just a few can be found below:.

  • A brand-new life jacket from Onyx Outdoor – There’s no better gift than safety this holiday season! And whether the boater in your life is a lifelong boater or is just getting started, a life jacket makes a great gift. For your favorite boater, check out Onyx’s line of awesome inflatable life jackets, which allow wearers full mobility without sacrificing safety!.

  • A boating safety course from America’s Boating Club – Keeping with the theme of safety, a boating safety class is a great idea for a holiday gift for those looking to cut down on stuff! There are classes for all types of boaters, so whether your gift recipient is an experienced boater looking to learn a new skill or someone who just started boating this year, there’s no shortage of seminars to take!.

  • A handheld VHF Radio from Cobra – A working emergency radio is so important when you need help, and cell phones often don’t get service when out boating on many waterways. Make sure your loved one can call for help whenever and wherever they boat with a new VHF radio..

  • An Overboard Wireless emergency cutoff device from FELL Marine – Engine cutoff devices can be a crucial piece to the boating safety puzzle, but there are countless boaters out there who don’t use theirs because the typical lanyard designs can limit movement. A wireless cutoff device allows full movement around the vessel while still providing the safety needed if someone unexpectedly ends up in the water so that the engine and propeller can be automatically shut off..

  • Sunglasses from Fishgillz – Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for the boater or angler in your life? Look no further than a set of Fishgillz sunglasses! These sunglasses pair polarized lenses with a special floating technology to combine comfort, style, and function all into one package!.

  • Sea Tow membership –There’s no better gift for your favorite boater than Peace of Mind on the Water. Whether your boating buddies are on lakes, rivers or the open ocean, a Sea Tow membership can be the perfect gift. Memberships come complete with tows, fuel deliveries, jump starts, covered ungroundings and so much more. You can even buy the membership instantly online, making it the perfect last-minute holiday gift in the days, hours and even minutes leading up to whenever your friends and family open their presents!

Tags:  2019-20  Americas Boating Club  Cobra  Engine Cutoff Device  Fell Marine  Fishgillz  Life Jacket  Onyx Outdoor  Sea Tow  US Coast Guard  VHF Radio  Winter 

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Get into the Spirit of Giving with a Life Jacket Drive this Holiday Season

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, November 15, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Get into the Spirit of Giving with a Life Jacket Drive this Holiday Season

With the winter holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to get into the spirit of giving. And if you’re a boater that cares about safety, there’s no better way to give than by collecting new or gently used life jackets for use at a local Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station!

As everyone is putting up their boats for the winter up north or making plans to take a break from boating during the busy winter months down south, this is the best time to gather up any life jackets that may not be needed next season. Whether the kids have outgrown the life jackets or they have become surplus in your boat’s supply, gently used life jackets can still help save a life on your local waterways.

Hosting a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Drive is an easy way to make a huge impact on your local boating community. Simply visit www.lifejacketdrive.org and download the program manual, signage, flyers and other promotional materials to get the word out about your drive. You can also request box labels for your life jacket collection boxes and those will be mailed to you for free.

Many organizations that accept donations of clothing, toys and household items can’t accept life jackets because the staff lack the training to identify whether the life jackets meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements. Thankfully, the Life Jacket Drive’s Program Manual provides you with the tools to confidently inspect the donated life jackets, including a checklist like the one shown below.

Add it all up, and there’s no better time to host a Life Jacket Drive in your hometown. This holiday season protect a life by donating a vest. And, best of all, the donated life jackets will stay in your local boating community as part of a life jacket loaner station that local boaters can borrow and return.

Tags:  2019-20  Grants  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Drive  Life Jacket Loaner Partnership  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant 

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Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Use Hits Records at NMMA Boat Shows

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, November 1, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Use Hits Records at NMMA Boat Shows

Thanks to Life Jacket Loaner Stations set up by the Sea Tow Foundation, more than 34,000 attendees at the NMMA-hosted 2019 Tampa and Norwalk Boat Shows left with a better understanding of the importance of life jacket use.

Through partnerships with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Onyx, the Sea Tow Foundation set up two Life Jacket Loaner Stations at each of the boat shows and loaned out more than 400 life jackets across the two events, which were held in late September and late October.

The stations are part of the Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program – which features more than 575 locations nationwide where boaters can borrow life jackets for free and return them at the end of their boating trip.

The Life Jacket Loaner Stations at the Norwalk and Tampa Boat Shows helped to ensure that life jackets were made available for children and adults visiting the shows as they perused the docks and toured the various boats and other exhibits on display at the shows.

Each Life Jacket Loaner Station was staffed by volunteers from several local organizations, as well as local Sea Tow members and other community volunteers. By the time the shows concluded, more than 54 volunteers offered up their time to help spread awareness on the importance of life jackets.

“It’s so great to see so many different people using our life jackets at these shows,” said Gail R. Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “With each person who borrows a life jacket or sees our life jacket loaner stations, we’re able to help spread a vital message on the importance of life jackets and always having them any time you are in or around the water. These shows are such a great opportunity to help further our cause to ensure boating is safe and fun for everyone involved.”

Kulp added that the Foundation’s presence at the shows was especially beneficial to children and their families, as it provided a valuable learning experience for boaters of all ages.

“Children are required by law to always wear life jackets, so getting them familiar with them at these shows is a great service to boaters,” Kulp said. “Having the opportunity to show these young children, in particular, that life jacket use can be simple, easy and, most of all, fun has a profound impact on the boating community as a whole. We’re so thankful to be able to team up with our friends at NMMA to help spread these important messages at their shows.”

To learn more about the Sea Tow Foundation and its programs, or to find a Life Jacket Loaner Station near you, visit www.boatingsafety.com.

Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Loaner Partnership  Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant  National Marine Manufacturers Association  News  Onyx Outdoor  Partner  Press Release  Vest Friends. Volunteers 

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Apply Today to Host a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station!

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, October 31, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Apply Today to Host a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station!

Is your company, team, organization or club passionate about boating? Are you looking for a way to engage with your local community to make an impact and save lives? Now’s your chance, because the Sea Tow Foundation is officially accepting applications to set up new or restock existing Life Jacket Loaner Stations.

In case you’re not familiar with our Life Jacket Loaner Program, the Sea Tow Foundation started the program 12 years ago thanks to grant funds from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Sea Tow Foundation works with organizations all throughout the country to establish and maintain a network of close to 600 life jacket loaner stations where local boaters can borrow a life jacket for the day, free of charge. And the life jackets are saving lives on waterways both near and far.

If your organization is interested in hosting a Life Jacket Loaner Station in your hometown, simply complete the online application by February 1, 2020.

In April 2020, the selected organizations will be sent Onyx Outdoor life jackets ranging in sizes from infant to adult XL, as well as informational brochures on the importance of life jacket use. In addition, organizations will receive a manual detailing how to maintain the loaner station, announce the opening of the station to the local media, and complete monthly reports describing how the life jackets are used.

New this year, reimbursement may be provided to organizations interested in building a loaner stand locally or working with a local group to help in building a stand. If you are selected to receive the reimbursement, signage will be provided, as well as building plans.

Now is your chance to make a difference in your local boating community! Submit your application today! We look forward to working with you in 2020!

 

Tags:  2019-20  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Loaner Partnership  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant  US Coast Guard  Vest Friends  Website 

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