WHEREAS, Alaska offers unlimited outdoor activities on the multitude of available waterways; from kayaking to river rafting, sport fishing to boating, Alaska’s lakes, rivers, and coastline are used for recreation, work, and transportation; and
WHEREAS, Alaska has one of the highest boating fatality rates in the nation, and most accidents resulting in the loss of life involve an individual who was not wearing a life jacket; and
WHEREAS, most boating accidents in Alaska involve a sudden capsize, swamping, ejection, or fall overboard into icy waters without a life jacket. Without a properly fitted life jacket, sudden cold water immersion increases the risk of drowning, regardless of swimming ability; and
WHEREAS, every boating operator and passenger should be “Rescue Ready” by reviewing safety measures before each outing, taking the time to check on available safety gear before leaving the dock, wearing a life jacket, and avoiding alcohol and other substances that impair the ability to safely operate a vessel. By emphasizing safety first, we can all help reduce loss of life and property damage on Alaska’s waterways; and
WHEREAS, the Alaska Office of Boating Safety has joined with other states, federal agencies, and boating organizations for the 2020 North American Safe Boating Campaign to promote safe and enjoyable boating. Education, preparation, and preparedness can help reduce fatalities when boating in Alaska.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 16-22, 2020 as:
Safe Boating Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to practice safe boating procedures by always wearing a life jacket while on the water, carrying communication and signaling devices, taking boating safety courses, practicing vigilant boat operation, and avoiding alcohol while boating.