Many boaters will hit the water this Labor Day weekend to enjoy the last holiday weekend of summer. Shaw Grigsby, legendary pro angler and spokesperson for the Wear It! annual boating safety campaign, reminds boaters to take a few extra minutes to make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket and boats responsibly.
“Whether you’re out fishing or enjoying a day cruising in your boat, always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly,” said Grigsby. “I’ve gone fishing thousands of times, and it only takes a moment for an accident to occur.”
A professional angler for 35 years, Grigsby is a Bassmaster Elite Series Angler, finishing within the top 10 places 59 times and bringing home first place in nine Bassmaster fishing tournaments. Weekly, he shares his love for fishing as the host of “One More Cast” on The Sportsman Channel. While serious about fishing, Grigsby reminds his viewers that it’s all about having fun while sharing his passion for the outdoors with others.
“We’re honored to have Shaw’s support of the campaign,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization of Wear It! The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Whether you’re boating, fishing, paddling or waterskiing, Wear It! offers these reminders:
1. Be sure everyone always wears a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket and follows navigation rules.
2. Check the weather forecast before departing the dock as weather conditions change rapidly.
3. File a float plan with someone you trust who is staying on land with vessel, passenger, destination and return details.
4. Don’t rely on a cell phone to be your only source of communication in the event of an emergency. Consider carrying a DSC-VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacons worn on a life jacket or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board your boat. These devices can quickly notify rescuers that you are in distress and with a properly registered DSC radio, even the nature of the distress.
5. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is deadly and illegal in every state: it’s the reported cause of 21% of boating fatalities.
“Always wear your life jacket,” continued Grigsby. “I wear my life jacket and still can catch a big bass and return home safely to my family.”
Share the campaign’s video public service announcement, “Love the Life!,” about the experience of two families and a dog as they spend the day boating and fishing. It reminds boaters you can still have fun on the water while choosing to always wear a life jacket and boating responsibly.
For more boating safety tips, visit safeboatingcampaign.com. Follow Wear It! on Twitter at @boatingcampaign, like on Facebook at facebook.com/safeboatcampaign, and share your boating story at safeboatingcampaign.com.