Commerce Twp., Mich., May 2, 2022 – With spring launch underway in Michigan, and National Safe Boating Week quickly approaching, May 21 through May 27 – the summer boating season is around the corner and the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) reminds all to be safe on the water. With more than 800,000 registered boats on file, and more than 600,000 legally unregistered paddle craft, Michigan is third in the nation in boat registrations, and is recognized as one of the safest and most ideal locations to boat.
“Boating is a safe way to share incredible moments with friends and family. Our industry has made great strides with education, awareness, and improved safety gear,” said MBIA Executive Director Nicki Polan.
Education can reduce accidents and enhance your experience on the water. MBIA reminds boaters of a few boating safety tips:
- Wear it! The National Safe Boating Council promotes National Safe Boating Week with a Wear it! Campaign, promoting life jacket awareness. Of all the fatal boating accident victims who drown, 85% weren’t wearing a life jacket. A life jacket can save your life.
- Watch your wake, Share the lake – be respectful of other boaters, lakefront property owners & ‘No Wake Zones’ when making wakes with your boat. Try not to do repeat passes along the same shoreline, and keep music at a respectable level are other two takeaways.
- Towing – When pulling a skier, tube or other towable, be sure to have a spotter on your vessel. All those being towed must wear an approved life jacket and know proper hand gestures to signal the spotter.
- Diving Flag Recognition – Learn to recognize a diver flag! Boaters need to stay at least 200ft. away from a dive flag unless they’re tendering for the diving operation. For more, visit: dive-flag.com/Michigan.html
- Marina safety –– NEVER swim within a marina. Electric shock drowning occurs when water is charged with electricity. This can happen in a marina setting where boats are powered and there is a breach.
- MBIA encourages all boat captains to take a boaters safety course and obtain a Boater’s Safety Certificate, but all those born after June 30, 1996 are required to have this certificate. The entire Handbook of Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities can be found on the Michigan DNR website.
“In Michigan, you are never more than 6 miles away from a lake, river, or stream. Being surrounded by the Great Lakes and with more than 11,000 inland lakes across the state, boating is a safe way to get out and enjoy the outdoors this summer,” said Polan. “And with more than 1,300 boating access sites you don’t need to live on the water to get on the water.”
National Safe Boating Week runs May 21-27, where boating safety is encouraged nationwide. MBIA and the National Safe Boating Council do not stand alone in promoting boating safety. Other organizations and groups are pulling together to promote safety to recreational boaters across the nation including: The US Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, MDNRE’s Law Enforcement Division, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, local Sheriff’s Marine Divisions, many Michigan boater dealers & Boat US.
MBIA is a non-profit trade association representing more than 350 marine businesses and serves as the voice for Michigan’s $7.8 billion marine industry. MBIA is dedicated to the advancement, promotion and protections of recreational boating in Michigan. MBIA produces Michigan’s big three boat shows: the Progressive Detroit Boat Show, Progressive Novi Boat Show and Progressive Metro Boat Show. Proceeds from these events go back to the industry through MBIA programs and services. For more information about MBIA and its boat shows visit www.mbia.org.