National Safe Boating Week 2017 in HawaiʻiMay 19, 2017, 1:29 PM HST (Updated May 19, 2017, 1:32 PM)
The annual National Safe Boating Week safety campaign kicks off nationwide on Saturday, May 20.
Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands will host events to highlight the importance of boating safety throughout the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
“Wearing a life jacket significantly increases your chances of survival during an emergency situation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Auth, director of auxiliary and recreational boating safety for the Coast Guard 14th District. “The Coast Guard Auxiliary on Oʻahu will be employing their new mobile life jacket loaner station, which will allow members of the public to borrow life jackets as they need them.”
The mobile life jacket loaner station will be available for the public at Maunalua Bay Beach Park in Hawaiʻi Kai, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday is also the Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day, when thousands of people from around the world will attempt to set the world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated on one day in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket.
In 2015, drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities, and 85% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. Coast Guard statistics for 2016 have not been released yet.
The following is a list of scheduled events and open houses coinciding with National Safe Boating Week on the Big Island:
Wailoa Boat Ramp, Hilo – Saturday, May 20, and Sunday May 21, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Public information booth, vessel safety checks, and small commercial fishing vessel exams.
Honokohau Harbor, Kona – Saturday, May 20, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Public information booth, vessel safety checks, and a special appearance by Coastie the Safety Boat robot.
Wal Mart, Hilo – Thursday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m – Public information booth