Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

 

Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

It was time for me to buy a boat—I’d enjoyed many days on the lake as a child cruising around in my parent’s or a friend’s boat, and as an adult, with a growing family of my own it seemed like the right time to make the investment. I quickly realized, however, that there was a lot I didn’t know about being the operator of my own vessel and that it was my job to ensure the safety of my friends and family.  

Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

            When I researched where to take boating classes, the resounding answer was at my local United States Power Squadron – America’s Boating Club location. They gave me comprehensive knowledge that got me on the water as soon as possible. Although I felt confident and better prepared in my boating abilities as a result, over the course of my first summer on the lake in my own boat, it became clear that there were many boaters in the community who were blissfully unaware of safe boating techniques. So how was I going to reach these people—my boating community—without preaching? That’s when another member of America’s Boating Club directed me to its U.S. Coast Guard website collaboration, Boat Live 365, which has a ton of resources for recreational boaters.

Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

Boat Live 365 is bigger than a single campaign; it’s a safe boating movement. Launched by United States Power Squadrons, Boat Live 365 was made possible with a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The goal of the program is to empower recreational boating advocates to create a safe boating culture within their communities 365 days a year. Advocates can access vetted resources and public outreach through BoatLive365.org to lower the rate of boating accidents, incidents, and fatalities nationwide. Topics reflect the areas of interest prescribed by the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that prioritized dangers, small and large, are kept top of mind for the boating public.

            The site contains a collection of educational materials and resources for recreational boating advocates. It stemmed from the alarming statistic that 77 percent of recreational boating deaths in 2016 occurred on boats whose operator had not received boating safety instruction. Unfortunately, that number rose to 81 percent in 2017, and it’s a number that I, personally, don’t want to see increase.

Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

            BoatLive365.org offers a tremendous library which can be filtered by topic and resource. It is a treasure trove of information on the topics of accident reporting, boat operation, cold water, life jackets, navigation rules, propeller strikes, safety training, being under the influence and year-round safety. For example, “Understand the Dangers of Falling Into Cold Water and How To Fight For Your Life” is offered in a clear, readable pamphlet in .pdf format that gets straight to the point outlining the body’s response to cold water, the life-saving benefits of life jackets and what to do in a cold water situation. I was able to request a print-ready file for distribution to community members at no cost, and anyone can access this function.

            Spreading the message of safer boating is Boat Live 365’s central mission. It seeks to engage others in the conversation by offering easy-to-use, prewritten materials. In the “Spread the Word” section, advocacy materials are available as well as preferred language for social media posts, focus lines, and tips for enacting change. I posted many pre-written message templates onto my personal social media pages and started valuable conversations about boating safety. I even got some of my friends interested in the many courses available through America’s Boating Club. It has been a positive step towards ensuring that the knowledge my fellow boaters are learning is accurate and up-to-date.

Learn, Engage, and Connect with Boat Live 365

Many people don’t think twice about getting on a boat with a friend or family member who owns it, but would you still get on that boat if you knew the operator had received no safety instruction? I wouldn’t, which is why I’ve extensively used Boat Live 365 to help others gain a better understanding of a boat’s ins and outs and encourage continued education. It’s been an important mission, so I’ll stay on board with Boat Live 365.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

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