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Supporting National Safe Boating Week in Savannah

Savannah Mayor Bob Shutt, left, presents a proclamation recognizing National Safe Boating Week as May 21-27 to U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Branch Chief Tommy Thomas.

National Safe Boating Week will be held from May 21-27, reminding all boaters to brush up on boating safety skills and prepare for the boating season.
This observance week is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being responsible.
Savannah is situated on the east bank of the Tennessee River and Mayor Bob Shutt has proclaimed the city’s support of the goals of the Safe Boating Campaign.
“The best boating experience is safe boating,” said Yvonne Pentz, communications director of the National Safe Boating Council, a nonprofit dedicated to helping create a safe boating experience for all boaters and the lead organization of the Safe Boating Campaign. “Have fun on the water, make memories with your family and friends – all while boating responsibly.”
The Hardin County Fire Department reports that last Thursday, a boater was thrown overboard into the Tennessee River, only to watch the small john boat run in circles for half an hour until firefighters retrieved it.
The boater was not wearing a life jacket when he unexpectedly plunged into the water, but county Fire Chief Melvin Martin said he managed to swim safely to shore.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020, and that 86% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
The National Safe Boating Council notes there are many options for boaters when it comes to choosing a life jacket. When selecting a life jacket, a boater should check that it is U.S. Coast Guard approved, appropriate for the water activity, and fits properly.
“Remember, the best life jacket is the one you will wear,” said Pentz. “Whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, boat like a pro and make sure you’re prepared for the adventure.”
Savannah’s mayoral proclamation states that on average, 650 people die each year in boating-related accidents, and that the vast majority are caused by human error or poor judgment and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors.
“I urge all those who boat to practice safe boating habits and wear a life jacket at all times while boating,” Shutt said in the proclamation.

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