Winter Park, Fla. — Members from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently visited Bonnier Corp.’s headquarters in Winter Park, Fla., to meet with the largest contingent of leading boating editors ever assembled. The meeting with editors and industry safety consultants was convened to “force multiply” boating safety awareness in the United States. Captain F. Thomas Boross and Tom Dardis from the United States Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety spoke to a packed room of marine editors about strategic initiatives, and enlisted their help in reaching recreational boaters with messages designed to elevate boating safety consciousness with the goal of improving boating safety.
“Our goal is simple — to protect the lives of those we serve on the water by proliferating safe boating behaviors,” said Captain Boross, Chief of Auxiliary and Boating Safety. “Wear a life jacket at all times or have them on board and easily accessible; know the vessel; know the water temperature before getting underway and dress for the water temperatures; be aware of current and forecasted weather conditions; slow down and be even more careful while boating at night. Taking extra risk mitigation safety steps can not only save your life, but those around you.”
Through a federal grant from the United States Coast Guard, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF), the United States Coast Guard and Bonnier Corp. have partnered for the past five years to increase the awareness of safe boating practices in America. WSF coordinated the meeting with the editors to heighten boating safety awareness among the influencers in boating media. Efforts through the grant have helped the recreational boating safety community and United States Coast Guard achieve records for the past four years of boating accidents and deaths since recording began.
“Our brands at Bonnier reach the marine enthusiast audiences that span from fishing and boating, to yachting, sailing and beyond,” said Glenn Sandridge, Group Publisher of the Boating and Watersports brands at Bonnier Corp. “Partnering with the USCG on boating safety initiatives furthers our brands and delivers messages to a wide audience across the world on a variety of platforms and devices.”
Two important dates in 2016 are National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 21-27, and Operation Dry Water June 24-26. These two major boating safety events will be promoted in the weeks preceding each and will serve as national reminders to be safe on the water before Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
“Our partnership for safe boating campaigns has been effective and we have the numbers to prove it,” said Dardis, USCG National Outreach Coordinator. “We appreciate Mr. Sandridge’s and Mr. Emmons’ help in spreading a boating safety message to the wide-ranging boating audience, and we’re excited to know that our messages on life jacket wear and BUI are getting to America’s boaters.”