RALEIGH, N.C. (May 16, 2011) – Gov. Bev Perdue has issued a proclamation that May 21-27 be recognized as Safe Boating Week in North Carolina.
With the start of the recreational boating season and National Safe Boating Week that week, the goal of Safe Boating Week in North Carolina is to emphasize the efforts to promote safe boating and encourage the wearing of personal flotation devices.
Wildlife officers of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are charged with enforcing the boating laws and regulations on North Carolina waters, and can stop any vessel for safety checks or violations. In the course of their duties, these law enforcement officers patrol over 5,000 square miles of inland streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waterways, as well as 220 public boating access areas.
“The best advice I can give anyone is to wear an appropriate life vest, no matter when or where they are boating,” said Maj. Chris Huebner, the state boating safety coordinator. “The law requires children younger than 13 to wear a proper life vest whenever they are on a recreational vessel that is underway, but it is a good idea for everybody. Personal flotation devices are called life vests and life preservers for a reason.”
Safe Boating Week also will kick-off a multi-agency “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign that stresses the safe and sober operation of motor vehicles and boats, since one in every three deaths – car or boat – is alcohol related. North Carolina sets the same limit—.08 blood alcohol concentration—for intoxication while operating vehicles and vessels.
For more information on boating safety, regulations and title and registration, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating