WHEREAS, Alaska offers numerous outdoor water activities, including kayaking, river rafting, sport fishing, and boating, on the multitude of available waterways, and 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 in the nation, coupled with the highest rate of boating fatalities, with most accidents resulting in the loss of 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, and 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 every outing, checking on available safety gear before leaving the dock, wearing a life jacket, and by avoiding alcohol and other substances that impair the ability to safely operate a vessel; and
WHEREAS, by emphasizing safety first, we can all help reduce loss of life and property damage on Alaska’s waterways.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 20-26, 2023 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.
Dated: May 20, 2023