A speedboat on Pilot Butte Reservoir, aka Morton Lake. File photo.

(OMAHA, Neb.) – The National Safe Boating Council and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have teamed up with boating safety advocates across the U.S. to promote safe and responsible boating during National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23, 2014.

National Safe Boating Week is the official launch of the 2014 Safe Boating Campaign. This yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of life jacket wear by recreational boaters.

Before casting off for a day on the water, boaters should take appropriate precautions. File a float plan with a friend or family, get a vessel safety check and take a boating safety course. Boaters should also check the weather forecast and make sure everyone on board is wearing the correct type and fit of life jacket. Boaters can develop “boater’s hypnosis” a condition in response to sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion, which causes fatigue and slows your reaction time. Combining this condition with alcohol or drugs greatly reduces your coordination, judgment and reaction time, which could lead to deadly consequences so please boat sober.

“Throughout the year hundreds of people drown or die in boating accidents and the majority of the deaths could have been prevented,” said Pam Doty, National Water Safety Program Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   “We want you to come out and enjoy your national lakes and rivers and return home safely, so please wear a life jacket and boat friendly.”

–U.S. Army Corps of Engineers