Marine groups bolster boating safety

T oday, more marine organizations and manufacturers are offering safety information and equipment to consumers. They understand that consumers drive safety-engineered vehicles and expect the same level of safety on their boats.

The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety produced a new brochure, which includes safety tips and information to educate boaters about this hazard. The National Marine Manufacturers Association updated the brochure for a consumer audience and plans to distribute it industrywide.

Another major entity, the American Boat and Yacht Council, formed the Product Interface Committee in fall 2006 to study boating accidents and recommend ways to improve how people interface with boats and boating equipment. The PIC’s first job was to review engine cutoff devices.

The PIC’s objective dovetails neatly with the National Association of Boating Law Administrators’ model act requiring recreational boaters to wear either a lanyard or wireless engine shutoff device. The new wireless shutoff devices permit freedom of movement while ensuring that everyone on board is equally protected.

This year, encourage fellow boaters to look for technology that backs up their education and safe-boating practices. By working together, marine manufacturers and industry groups can reduce the number and severity of accidents and keep boating fun.