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Boating in Flooded Waters – Don’t Do It

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, June 15, 2020
Updated: Monday, June 8, 2020

Boating in Flooded Waters – Don’t Do It

 

The sun is out and the weather is getting warmer making for a fantastic boating season.  However, the arrival of warmer weather also means that the chance of spring and summer storms increases which can lead to flooding. Although it may be tempting to take your boat out on your home rivers or lakes while the water is high or even go boating in an area that used to be a field or park but is now covered in water, it is imperative to stay away for your safety and the safety of others.

 

Some of the dangers that can arise when your local waterways are flooded include:

·         Submerged hazards and debris such as entire trees, fence posts, parts of buildings and other structures can be hidden beneath the water’s surface.

·         Strong currents can knock power poles and their lines and electrical equipment into the water. This can create energized areas of water where electric shock is a possibility. 

·         Faster currents make it much more challenging to operate your boat when the current is strong and rapid.

·         Markers such as buoys and beacons might be moved or damaged when an area is flooded and cannot be relied upon for safe navigation.

·         Water is still very cold this time of year even if the air temperature has started to warm up. Cold water significantly increases the risk of hypothermia and can lead to cold shock.

 

If you absolutely must go out on your boat when your local waterways are flooded, practice the following safety protocols:

·         Do not boat alone. Have an extra set of eyes and hands to look for submerged objects.

·         ALWAYS wear a good fitting life jacket. If you don’t have a life jacket, you can find a Life Jacket Loaner station near you at www.boatingsafety.com/map.

·         Carry a device that can be used to contact emergency personnel – such as a VHF radio, satellite phone, or personal locator beacon.

·         Bring along a lot of rope and practice your knots before heading out in case you need to use the rope to tie up your boat or to throw to someone who has fallen into the swift water. Do not enter the water to rescue anyone or anything during flooding.

 

It is important to remember that there are so many ways to have a wonderful boating experience. Going out in flood waters is incredibly risky and can cause serious harm. But remember, the best way to avoid the hazards of flood water is to stay away them.

 

Stay safe and keep boating!

Tags:  2019-20  boating in flood  boating safety  Education  flooding  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Life Jackets  Weather 

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Wearing Life Jackets is Important

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

May 21 - Wearing Life Jackets is Important

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

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

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

The letter for today is W.

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

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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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Thank you for a great 2019!

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, December 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thank you for a great 2019!

Whether you are a regular supporter of Sea Tow Foundation programs such as our Life Jacket Loaner Program or our Sober Skipper Program, or you are new to our nonprofit boating safety efforts nationwide, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you!

This year has seen major growth in the Sea Tow Foundation Programs. Our Sober Skipper program, which asks boaters to be or designate a sober skipper before leaving the dock, has seen an increase in the number of people taking the pledge in 51 states and territories and 94% of the states have seen a decrease in Boating Under the Influence accidents and fatalities as a result.

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program now boasts 650 total life jacket loaner stations offered across 43 states at boat ramps, marinas, parks, fuel docks and community centers. And these life jackets have been credited with saving dozens of lives each year thanks to the boating safety supporters who help maintain our loaner stations around the country and ensure that the life jackets are available to the boating public.

To accomplish all of this, the Sea Tow Foundation has expanded its staff, increased its presence at boat shows, and made materials and resources available online in our new store to support the needs of the growing requests for our programs in our efforts to promote boating safety and education that directly reduces deaths, injuries, and property damage attributed to recreational boating.

Please consider making a year-end gift in any amount to help us continue our good work. All donations are tax-deductible and your support has lasting effect on every person borrowing a life jacket to prevent drowning or taking the pledge to be a Sober Skipper to eliminate Boating Under the Influence.

You can make a secure donation online at www.boatingsafety.com/donatetoday or you can mail a check to Sea Tow Foundation, P.O. Box 1325, Southold, NY 11971.

 

We thank you for being part of our progress!

 

Tags:  2020  boating safety  donations  life jacket loaner program  sober skipper program 

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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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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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Sea Tow Foundation Announces $330,000 in Grants Awarded for 2019-20

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, August 2, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Announces $330,000 in Grants Awarded for 2019-20

The Sea Tow Foundation – a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of safe boating practices – has announced it will receive a series of grants from the United States Coast Guard for the 2019-20 grant year and beyond.

The grants – administered through the Coast Guard’s Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund – will be used to support the Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program and Sober Skipper Program.

“We couldn’t be more excited to continue to receive such resounding support from our friends at the Coast Guard,” said Gail R. Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “These grants will go a long way toward saving lives on waterways all throughout the country, both this year and beyond.”

The Coast Guard has awarded the Foundation’s seminal Life Jacket Loaner Program with $210,000 for the coming year – an increase of nearly 8 percent year-over-year. In addition, the Sea Tow Foundation has been awarded the same amount for the following two years to guarantee that the Life Jacket Loaner Program will continue well into the future.

The grant money will be used toward increasing the number of Life Jacket Loaner Stations – of which there are currently more than 575 across the country. In addition, it will help fund replenishments and repairs of existing stations. Applications for next summer’s life jackets and loaner stations will begin on November 1, 2019 on the Sea Tow Foundation’s website. Kulp said more information will be shared this fall.

The Life Jacket Loaner Program grant will also help in the development and maintenance of an online database of life jacket loaner station locations around the country, along with a map of those locations,

A second grant of $120,000 has been awarded for the Sober Skipper program, which celebrated its sixth year in 2019. These funds will help the Foundation continue its goals of building greater awareness of the importance of sober boating through grassroots efforts to spread the message in boating communities around the country.

“Alcohol is the leading known contributor in fatal boating accidents, so our Sober Skipper program couldn’t be more important,” Kulp said. “Through these grants, we’ll be able to continue to increase the program’s reach through additional advertising and social media efforts.”

In the past year, the Sea Tow Foundation has established a brand-new American Sober Skipper Advisory Council, which works to unite the corporate and non-profit sectors of the boating industry around a shared message of safe boating. Grant funding will continue to support the Council, as well as fund a new component of the Council – a boating industry awards program to recognize and honor businesses who are promoting safe boating within their companies.

“It’s humbling to see so many influential members of the boating industry lock arms with one another through our Sober Skipper program,” Kulp added. “With the help of grants like these, we hope to do away with Boating Under the Influence for good.”

 

Tags:  2019-20  Grant  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Press Release  Sober Skipper Program  US Coast Guard 

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Be Sure to Wear Your Life Jacket This Winter

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, November 2, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Be Sure to Wear Your Life Jacket This Winter

Did you know that your chances of dying from going overboard are five times greater in winter months than in the summer? The Sea Tow Foundation wants to remind boaters to always wear their life jackets, especially once the temperatures begin to drop. A total of 5 northern states have laws requiring life jackets to be worn by boaters during typically cold weather months. This requirement is in response to the number of accidents and deaths that have occurred as a result of cold-water immersion.

“If you were to become immersed in cold water for even a short period of time, manual dexterity will be lost – along with your ability to swim or put on a life jacket – within ten minutes of being in the water,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director, Gail R. Kulp. “Without a life jacket, the cold can lead to drowning long before hypothermia even begins to set in.”

 The five states with cold water life jacket wear policies each have differing requirements:

 Connecticut: Life jackets must be worn by anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31 (must be a Type I, II, III, V or V-hybrid).

Maine: All boaters canoeing or kayaking on the Saco River between Hiram Dam and the Atlantic Ocean between January 1 and June 1st must be wearing a life jacket.

Massachusetts: Life jackets must be worn from September 15 - May 15 when operating a canoe or kayak.

New York: All owners or operators of a boat less than 21 feet, including rowboats, canoes and kayaks, between November 1st and May 1st, must ensure that all passengers must be wearing a securely-fastened United States Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size while out on the water.

Pennsylvania: From November 1 to April 30, boaters are required to wear a life jacket while on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak.

Even if your state doesn’t have a cold weather life jacket wear requirement, it is a smart and safe idea to wear a life jacket any time the water temperature drops below 60 degrees. It is imperative that, during cold weather months, boaters not only wear a life jacket, but have one that is USCG-approved and is appropriate for the type of activity that you will be participating in. Life jackets save lives, but only if they are worn.

Tags:  2018-19  Cold Weather  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Life Jacket Wear Policies  States  Winter 

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Tow Bee Boating Safety Tip: Wear Your Life Jacket!

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Thursday, May 19, 2016
Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tow Bee Boating Safety Tip: Wear Your Life Jacket!

Tow Bee wants all boaters to know that it is important to wear your life jacket. The Sea Tow Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that life jackets are available to boaters who need them. Since 2008, 57,046 life jackets have been provided to recreational boaters through the Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Program. Life jackets save lives and, with comfortable options like inflatable belt packs and vests, are easy and comfortable to wear at all times.

 

Tags:  2015-16  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Tow Bee Boating Safety Tips 

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Tow Bee Boating Safety Tip: Keep Life Jackets on Hand!

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2020

Tow Bee Boating Safety Tip: Keep Life Jackets on Hand!

No matter what body of water you call home, it’s required by law to have enough life jackets on-board for each of your boat’s passengers. And, they need to be the correct size for each passenger. This means that if you have children on board, the orange horse-collar life jackets stored under your seats won’t work. First of all, you’ll need to make sure to have child-size life jackets in the correct size for each child. Secondly, you’ll also need to make sure any children under the age of 13 wear their life jackets at all times while underway as this is required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the adults to put on their life jackets, too. Comfortable options including inflatable life jackets are now available and will keep the day on the water safe. After all, 87% of people who drown every year were within reach of a life jacket, but they didn’t have time to put it on.

So, if you’re heading out with new guests, make sure you have properly-fitting life jackets for everyone. If you don’t have enough life jackets or need a specific size to fit a new guest, be sure to stop by one of our many Life Jacket Loaner Stations located at boat ramps, fuel docks and marinas all over the country and borrow one for the day at no charge!


Click here for more Tow Bee Boating Safety Tips!

Tags:  Life Jacket  Life Jacket Loaner Program  Tow Bee Boating Safety Tips 

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