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“Wear It Michigan!” Safe Boating Campaign 2009: Resource Kit Contents I Introduction to the 2009 Campaign 2 II Campaign Partners 3 III Overview Press Release 4-5 IV Campaign Highlights 6-7 V Recreational Boating Safety Facts 8-10 VI Life Jacket Facts 11-12 2 Introduction to the 2009 Campaign A Message from Campaign Partners We are pleased to announce the “Wear It Michigan!” initiative – a program designed to increase the life jacket wear rate amongst boaters in the Detroit metropolitan area of Michigan. Supported by a first-time collaborative initiative between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Safe Boating Council, this campaign helps educate boaters that wearing a life jacket is the number one way to save a life in the event of an accident on the water. This initiative implements a wide range of concentrated public outreach and marketing activities designed to deliver life jacket messages and, ultimately, inspire boaters to wear their life jackets every time they head to the water. This year’s “Wear It Michigan!” focus will be headed by Michigan Conservation Officers on the Detroit River, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair. These waterways were chosen as the sites for this program because of their popularity as boating “hot spots” for thousands of recreational boaters each year, as well as their significant contribution to the total number of boating accidents and fatalities that occur on Michigan’s waterways. Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, which contain 90% of the United States’ fresh surface water. Michigan has 3,288 miles of Great Lakes coastline, more than 10,000 inland lakes, and is interwoven by 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. Michigan also has more than 931,000 registered watercraft (ranks 3rd in the nation) and has more than 1,300 public boat launching sites. Through a powerful collaboration of state and national partners, “Wear It Michigan!” represents a unique opportunity to “move the needle” on life jacket wear rates in southeast Michigan – a sure way to save lives this boating season and beyond. Through innovative and creative campaign efforts, we anticipate that “Wear It Michigan!” will become a familiar phrase – both dockside and on the boats of thousands who head to Michigan waters this summer. We welcome the support of the community as we work to make the Detroit metropolitan area and Michigan as a whole a national example of boating safety. Lt. Andrew Turner State Boating Law Administrator Michigan Department of Natural Resources WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 3 “Wear It Michigan!” Campaign Partners Michigan Department of Natural Resources The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for current and future generations, a role it has relished since creation of the original Conservation Department in 1921. Its primary mission is to protect and conserve the state’s natural resources, and to promote diverse outdoor recreational opportunities, wildlife and fisheries management, management of state parks and recreation areas, state lands and minerals, forest management and wildfire protection, and conservation law enforcement. Visit www.michigan.gov/dnr for more information. U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include: always wear a life jacket and require passengers to do the same; never boat under the influence (BUI); successfully complete a boating safety course; and get a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadron®, or your state boating agency’s Vessel Examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters, “Boat Responsibly!” For more information, visit www.USCGboating.org. National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) The National Safe Boating Council (www.SafeBoatingCouncil.org) consists of more than 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations, committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. The North American Safe Boating Campaign is produced by the National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating (Wallop-Breaux) Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Visit www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com for campaign materials and additional safe boating resources. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lt. Andrew Turner May 12, 2009 517-373-7109 Richard Morscheck 517-373-9265 Safe Boating Week and „Wear It Michigan!‟ Campaign Announced Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has declared May 16-22 as Safe Boating Week in Michigan, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials welcomed the declaration as an opportunity to remind all water sport enthusiasts of the importance of safe boating and to announce the kickoff of the DNR’s “Wear It Michigan!” campaign. Michigan’s Safe Boating Week runs concurrent with National Safe Boating Week, which is coordinated each year by the National Safe Boating Council and its boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada to promote the value of life jacket wear by recreational boaters. This year’s theme is, “Wear It!” referring to the increased focus on life jacket wear and education of new styles of life jackets, including inflatables. “Wear it Michigan!” is a simple reminder to encourage everyone to stay safe on the water by always wearing a life jacket,” said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. “We are pleased to partner with the National Safe Boating Council to bring this important message to the thousands of water enthusiasts who will be on the Detroit River and Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair this summer.” The kickoff for the DNR’s “Wear It Michigan!” campaign will be held at Sterling State Park on Lake Erie Saturday, May 23, at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend to learn more about safer boating and life jackets as well as meet those individuals who will be running the “Wear It!” campaign this summer. “Each year, 400-500 lives could have been saved if boaters had worn their life jackets,” said Virgil Chambers, Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council. "New life jackets on the market today are comfortable, lightweight and perfect for any boating activity. Don’t just carry a life jacket -- wear it!” The most recent statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that 90 percent of boaters who drowned in 2007 were NOT wearing their life jackets. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 5 During the DNR’s “Wear It Michigan!” campaign this summer, special teams of state conservation officers will be out on the water in a specially marked “Wear It Michigan!” boat asking boaters they meet to take the “Wear It!” Pledge. Everyone who signs a pledge card will be entered in a weekly drawing to win a manual inflatable (Type III) life jacket that will have a “Wear It!” rubber logo sewn onto the life jacket. The “Wear It Michigan!” campaign schedule also includes stops at Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor on the Detroit River, and the Erie Metropark and Lake St. Clair Metropark, plus the Wyandotte boat launch in Trenton, the Riverfront Marina in Monroe, Bolles Harbor in La Salle and the Ecorse boat launch. The conservation officers also will be on hand at the Red Bull Air Race at Tri-Centennial State Park, June 11-14; the Freedom Festival Fireworks, June 22; the Gold Cup Hydroplane Races, July 9-12: and the Port Huron to Mackinac Race, July 23-26. The complete schedule is attached and can also be found at www.WearItMichigan.com. The DNR’s report on the 2008 boating season in Michigan shows 36 fatalities in 31 fatal accidents statewide. Of those, 28 people drowned. Only two of those boaters were wearing life jackets. “There’s no question that life jackets save lives,” said Lt. Andrew Turner, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Safe Boating Week is only one week, but the DNR’s safety message to boaters applies throughout the year.” The DNR’s 2008 report indicates 201 recreational boating accidents resulted in 115 injuries and more than $937,000 in property damage. Open motorboats and personal watercraft accounted for 160 of the total 256 vessels involved in accidents, and alcohol use was a factor in 26 accidents. Most accidents in 2008 happened on Sunday afternoons in July. For more information on recreational boating safety and to learn more about the “Wear It Michigan!” campaign, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on the “Wear It!” button on the front page. The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations. The National Safe Boating Council represents over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. Visit www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com for campaign materials and additional safe boating resources. ### WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 6 “Wear It Michigan!” Campaign Highlights “Wear It Michigan!” is a program in which a collaboration between national and state partners -- including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Safe Boating Council -- has formed to advance boating safety and life jacket wear in southeast Michigan, that area of the state where most residents live and where most boating accidents occur. The campaign chose the Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair for several reasons. Stretching 32 miles in length, the Detroit River is part of the connecting channels linking Lake Erie to Lake Huron. It serves as a source of drinking water for approximately five million people, is a key link for commerce in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, and provides countless benefits for recreation. In 2008, Lake St. Clair was recorded as the body of water with the most accidents. From a recreational perspective, Lake St. Clair is among the most heavily utilized portions of the Great Lakes. More than 15 percent of all registered boats in Michigan are registered in the three counties adjacent to Lake St. Clair, which also includes more than 200 marinas. There were 46 accidents recorded on the Great Lakes in 2008 – including Lake Erie. These selected waters for the campaign are critical spots to educate and inform about life jacket wear. The “Wear It Michigan!” campaign launches during National Safe Boating Week (May 16 – 22) and continues throughout the summer months. The Kickoff Event will be held May 23 at Sterling State Park on Lake Erie near Monroe. The joint effort will utilize a full range of marketing strategies and tools to promote key messages regarding the importance of wearing – and not just stowing – life jackets on board one’s boat. Promotion will include radio and theater advertising, water events, signage at boat ramps and marinas, media stories, retail displays, and more! A new, customized Zodiac patrol vessel, donated by Zodiac and Mil Pro Marine and manned by trained DNR Law Enforcement staff, will cruise the Detroit River, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair throughout the summer. The “Wear It Michigan!” campaign is truly unique in that it is the first targeted campaign by a natural resource agency that will use their Law Enforcement Division to man the campaign rather than their education personnel. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 7 Throughout the campaign, more than 400 inflatable life jackets will be given away, free of charge, to boaters who pledge to wear them at all times while boating. The “Wear It Michigan!” campaign will host its very own Web site: www.WearItMichigan.com. There, the general public can obtain more information on campaign activities and updates, safety information, and campaign partners. “Wear It Michigan!” is promoting two national campaign contests: the “Be a Survivor: Wear It!” contest, sponsored by West Marine and the “Float Yourself Floato Contest” contest where the winner will receive an iPod Nano. Mil Pro Marine, Zodiac, Belle Tire, McDonalds, and West Marine are the first Community Partners to sign up in support of the “Wear It Michigan!” campaign. Additional partners are anticipated to join this effort throughout the summer. At the end of the campaign season, there will be one final drawing taken from the pledge cards received throughout the summer. These final prizes will be determined and announced this summer – please check back at www.WearItMichigan.com for more details. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 8 Recreational Boating Safety Facts All figures are from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Statistics: 2007, the latest official record of reported recreational boating accidents. The full report is available online at uscgboating.org/statistics/Boating_Statistics_2007.pdf. Drowning was reported as the cause of death in two-thirds of all fatalities. Approximately 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. Capsizing and falls overboard are the most reported types of fatal accidents and accounted for the vast majority (78 percent) of all boating fatalities. Alcohol use was either a direct or indirect contributing factor in approximately one-fifth of all boating fatalities. Sixteen children age 12 and under lost their lives while boating. Half (eight) of the children died from drowning. Operator inattention, carelessness/reckless operation, passenger/skier behavior, excessive speed and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. Approximately 85 percent of reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction, a 15 percent increase over previous years. National Recreational Boating Statistics Fatalities: 685 Drownings: 476 Injuries (requiring medical treatment beyond first aid): 3,673 Boating Accidents: 5,191 Property Damage: $53,106,496 Number of registered recreational boats in the U.S.: 12,875,568 WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 9 Top-Ranking States for Boating Deaths RANK STATE TOTAL DEATHS 1 Florida 75 2 California 55 3 Texas 46 4 Michigan 34 5 Louisiana 30 6 Washington 26 7 New York 21 8 North Carolina 19 Arkansas/Georgia/ 9 18 Wisconsin (tie) Alaska/ 10 17 Tennessee (tie) Top-Ranking States for Reported Boating Accidents RANK STATE TOTAL ACCIDENTS 1 Florida 663 2 California 601 3 Texas 197 4 Michigan 185 5 New York 180 6 Maryland 170 7 Missouri 168 8 Arizona 167 9 North Carolina 158 10 Tennessee 146 WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 10 Boating Statistics in Michigan Michigan has more than 931,000 registered watercraft. That’s about one boat for every four households in the state. Boat registrations grew steadily from the mid-1970s through 2000, when Michigan reported the most registered boats in the nation. Since then Michigan has fallen behind Florida and California. In 2003, it was estimated that Michigan registered boats accounted for 19.1 million boating days, with 13.2 million on inland waters and 5.9 million on the Great Lakes. This does not take into account the millions of boating days by the estimated hundreds of thousands of unregistered craft (non-motorized canoes, kayaks, rowboats, rafts and paddle boats). Registered boaters spent an estimated $1.4 billion on Michigan boating trips in 2003. 2008 REPORTABLE BOATING ACCIDENTS *All figures are the latest available information from Michigan Boating Accident Statistical Report: 2008, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division’s most recent publication on reported recreational boating accidents. • The total number of reported accidents (excluding fatals) in 2008 was 127. That was an increase from 2007, which had 125. • The total number of boating accidents (including fatals) in 2008 was 201. • The monetary amount of damage resulting from boating accidents in 2008 was $937,069. This was an increase from 2007, which reported $594,742. 2008 BOATING FATALITIES • The number of boating fatalities for 2008 was 36. This was an increase from 2007, which reported 35. • The number of total fatal accidents for 2008 was 31. This was the same as in 2007. 2008 SERIOUS INJURY ACCIDENTS • The number of serious injuries in 2008 was 115 people. This was an increase from 2007, which reported 105. 2008 PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENTS • The type of accident that most commonly resulted in boating accidents was inexperience, which was the cause for 33 accidents and other/unknown, which was the cause for 47 accidents. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 11 Today‟s Life Jacket: Style, Variety and Comfort Most boaters know they’re required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board for every passenger on their vessel. Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but “Wear It!” at all times while boating. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Of those who died in boating accidents in 2007, over two-thirds drowned – and 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket. The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight, and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Life jackets that use inflatable technologies are cool and comfortable. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. Many inflate automatically when immersed in water. Other life jacket styles are available for almost any boating activity: For fishing: Vest-style life jackets come with features such as pockets and clips to replace the fishing vest and keep the angler safe. For personal watercraft and water sports: Inherently buoyant lighter-weight life jackets are rugged, with multiple buckles and clasps to keep them secure after impact with the water. For hunting and cold weather: Full coats and suits are available in camouflage colors for waterfowl hunting and for those who boat when air and water temperatures are cool. For paddling: Special life jackets are designed with large openings for arms to allow ease of movement. For children: Virtually all styles are available sized especially for children – some with cartoon characters, straps for pulling children from the water, and high-visibility schemes. For pets: Life jackets are even available for our four-legged friends. No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is this: remember to grab your life jacket and “Wear It!” WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com 12 How to Choose the Right Life Jacket Looking for a life jacket? Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for YOU, your planned activities, and the water conditions you expect to encounter. Try It On Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight. Make sure the jacket is properly zipped or buckled. Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up. If there is excess room above the openings and the jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket. Fit Facts It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jacket. Jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous. Jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat. Important Reminders Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities. Take the time to ensure a proper fit. Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets. Michigan law requires all children under 6 years of age to wear a USCG-approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any vessel. Each person under 12 years of age riding on or towed behind a PWC must wear a USCG- approved Type I or Type II personal flotation device. Each person over 12 years of age riding on or towed behind a PWC must wear a USCG- approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device. Inflatable PFDs are not allowed on PWCs. For more information, see the Handbook of Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities, which can be accessed on the front page at www.WearItMichigan.com. WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Council PH: (703) 361.4294 FX: (703) 361.5294 www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com
"“Wear It Michigan"