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Safe Boating Week launches with “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day”

(Anchorage, AK) – Governor Sean Parnell has proclaimed May 18-24, 2013 as Safe Boating Week in Alaska, encouraging all boaters to follow safe boating practices this boating season. A copy of the proclamation is available online at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/proclamations.html.

The kick-off event for Safe Boating Week is “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” on Friday, May 17. The purpose is to heighten awareness of the many different life jacket designs now available, including inflatable life jackets, and demonstrate their comfort and versatility by wearing them to work. The National Safe Boating Council is asking participants to take a picture of themselves in their life jacket while at work and post it to www.facebook.com/ReadySetWearIt. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

The State of Alaska has over 33,000 miles of coastline, vast interior river systems, and fresh water lakes. To many Alaskans, boats are both an important means of day-to-day transportation and a popular form of recreation. However, every year Alaskan boaters lose their lives in boating accidents.

“Five out of six of Alaska’s boating fatalities are a cold water immersion related drowning, resulting from a vessel capsize or fall overboard. Most are adult males. Many could have survived if they had simply been wearing life jackets. Even on calm, sunny, clear blue sky days, Alaskan boaters of all experience levels should commit to wearing a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck,” said Jeff Johnson, State Boating Law Administrator.

The Alaska Office of Boating Safety in the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation works to reduce Alaska’s boating fatalities and promote safe enjoyable boating, with an emphasis on boater education. Information on programs and resources for boaters can be found on their web site at www.alaskaboatingsafety.org.

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