The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) announced Tuesday that West Marine has joined the 2006 North American Safe Boating Campaign to encourage life jacket wear and safe boating habits among the approximately 78 million recreational boaters nationwide. The leading retailer of boating supplies and accessories will help launch the campaign's newest initiative the "Be a Survivor" contest- around National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26.
"West Marine is a passionate advocate for boating safety on our nation's waterways," says Virgil Chambers, executive director of the NSBC. "We are thrilled to partner with them on our latest initiative. Together, we can heighten boaters' awareness of the safety precautions that could save their lives on the water."
The summer-long "Be a Survivor" contest will highlight the importance of life jacket wear as it invites recreational boaters to submit personal stories on how the life jacket has made a difference in their boating experiences. Entry forms are currently available online at http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com as well as select West Marine stores beginning June 16.
Winners of the "Be a Survivor" initiative will be chosen in September. Finalists will receive prizes provided by West Marine, including a Weekend Water Sports Package, a two-person inflatable Skeddadle kayak, and two Comfort Series Inflatable Belt Packs. Winners will also see their personal survival stories published nationally in the NSBC's book, Saved by the Jacket.
"By supporting the 'Be a Survivor' initiative, West Marine encourages boaters to wear their life jackets and enjoy a fun, safe time on the water this summer. The newest lifejackets are so cool and comfortable, you'll forget you have them on," says Laurie Fried, director of donations and public relations for West Marine.
About the North American Safe Boating Campaign
The North American Safe Boating Campaign began in 1957 and is coordinated by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). National Safe Boating Week (NSBW) is the official annual kick-off of the North American Safe Boating Campaign, encouraging life jacket wear as well as sober recreational boating, proper vessel maintenance, and recreational boater education. The Safe Boating Campaign's efforts reach out to boating communities nationwide and in Canada, with additional efforts focused on the top ten states for boating fatalities.
The top ranking states for boating fatalities are Florida; Louisiana; California; Texas, Tennessee; Michigan; Georgia; Wisconsin; Washington; Alabama; North Carolina; Virginia; New York; Illinois; Alaska and Maryland. All figures are the latest available data from Boating Statistics: 2004, the U.S Coast Guard's most recent publication on reported recreational boating accidents.
West Marine, the country's leading retailer of boating supplies and accessories, operates over 400 stores located in 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Its catalog and Internet channels offer customers approximately 50,000 products and the convenience of exchanging catalog and Internet purchases at retail stores. The Port Supply division is one of the country's largest wholesale distributors of marine equipment serving boat manufacturers, marine services, commercial vessel operators, and government agencies. For more information on West Marine's products and store locations, or to start shopping, visit WestMarine.com or call 1-800-