National Safe Boating Week

May 21st through May 27th

SANTA BARBARA, CA – 05/13/2011

Accidents happen too fast on the water to reach for stowed life jackets. Most boating fatalities are drownings – and 84 percent of those who drown aren’t wearing a life jacket. Now, new styles are available – comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for any boating activity.

May 21st through 27th is National Safe Boating Week. Celebrate by starting to wear your life jacket at all times while boating. And ask friends and family to do the same! The National Safe Boating Council, its local partners, and Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol remind you: don’t just carry a life jacket – “Wear It!”

To learn more on Safe Boating contact the Harbor Patrol Office at (805) 564-5530, or visit

Boating Safety Tips

1) Wear a life jacket no matter what activity you have planned – boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, etc.

· Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved and appropriate for your favorite boating activities.

· Take the time to ensure a proper fit. Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children.

· On vessels 26 feet or less in length and underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin.

2) Don’t drink while you boat. Alcohol use is a major contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths.

3) Know your state’s boating laws before you get out on the water. Rules and laws can differ from state to state and violations can result in ticketing, fines or jail time.

4) Make sure you and your boat are prepared. Santa Barbara Sail & Power Squadron (805) 570-2991and US Coast Guard Auxiliary (email: offer free vessel safety checks and boating safety classes.

5) Check the weather. Know the latest marine weather forecast prior to going out, and keep a regular check for changing conditions.

6) Keep in touch. File a float plan with a friend or relative. If you don’t communicate your safe return, they should contact the local boating authority or USCG. Communication devices can be the most important piece of emergency equipment on board, especially in case of emergency. VHF radios, cell phones, satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons and personal locator beacons can all contribute to your safety.

Contact: Steve McCullough, Harbor Patrol Supervisor

Phone: (805) 564-5530
Fax: (805) 560-7580