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 overall percentage of boat-owning households and boating fatality rates in the nation, with most accidents resulting in the loss of life involving 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 is again joining with other states, federal agencies, and boating organizations for the 2021 North American Safe Boating Campaign to promote safe and enjoyable boating.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 22-28, 2021 as:
Safe Boating Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to pledge to always wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on a deck, carry emergency communication and distress signaling devices, use engine cutoff practices, and avoid alcohol or other substances that could impair judgment while on the water.