WHEREAS, Alaska offers limitless 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 involved a victim who was not wearing a life jacket; and
WHEREAS, most boating accidents in Alaska involve a sudden capsize, swamping, ejection, or fall overboard without a life jacket into icy waters; and
WHEREAS, without a properly fitted life jacket, a 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 joining other states, federal agencies, and boating organizations for the 2019 North American Safe Boating Campaign to promote safe, enjoyable boating.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 18-24, 2019 as:
Safe Boating Week
in Alaska, and encourage all boaters to follow safe boating practices 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.