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Coast Guard, officials promote safety on water ahead of National Safe Boating Week

Posted at 4:53 PM, May 17, 2024

DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — National Safe Boating Week begins on Saturday, and as it gets closer to Memorial Day weekend traffic along Lake Michigan is picking up.

  • National Safe Boating Week is May 18-24.
  • In Sturgeon Bay on Friday, officials shared how boaters can be safe this season.
  • Free vessel safety checks are available in the county through July.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

"What boaters want is the same thing we want. We all want to have a very safe boating season," said Osgood.

Kevin Osgood is with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

He says 80 percent of boaters have never taken a safety class.

In Sturgeon Bay on Friday, he joined the Coast Guard, first responders, and Mayor David Ward

All want smarter boaters and fewer emergency calls.

"We should honor their work by each doing our own part to keep life on the water safe," said Mayor Ward.

Department of Natural Resources data shows that 28 people died boating last year and only one was wearing a life jacket.

Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Master Chief Christopher Zahn says between Memorial Day and Labor Day last year, they responded to more than 75 distress calls.

"We’re blessed to have this incredible resource of Lake Michigan in our backyard, by prioritizing safety on the water we can ensure that every trip is safe and memorable,” said Zahn.

The group encouraged life jacket use and safety checks for boats.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boat checks for free around the county from May through July.

If one of those vessel safety check dates does not work for you, you can contact a safety examinerhere.