The sailing season in Muskegon begins with the “ Blessing of the boats ”

The Boating Blessing begins Sunday, May 30 at 12:30 p.m. near the Milwaukee Clipper just outside the Safe Haven Great Lakes Marina.

MUSKEGON, Michigan – The Sunday boats will gather on Lake Muskegon for the annual kickoff of the summer cruising season.

The Boating Blessing begins at 12:30 p.m. near the Milwaukee Clipper just outside the Safe Haven Great Lakes Marina.

The Aquastar, along with a Muskegon County Sheriff’s boat, will lead the official boat blessing parade through the Muskegon Canal.

The Sheriff’s boat will begin washing Muskegon Lighthouse at 1:15 p.m. Then the event will return to Muskegon Lake for blessing at around 1:30 p.m. along the Aquastar.

As summer dawns, the US Coast Guard promotes safety on the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard’s safety education effort also recognized the 50th anniversary of the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971.

For boaters, safety starts with always wearing a life jacket.

“First and foremost, it’s about making sure you have enough life jackets and the right size of life jackets for those on board.” said Don Hamilton of the US Coast Guard station in Grand Haven.

Boaters not only have properly sized and fitted life jackets for everyone on board their vessels as required by law, but also make sure everyone on board is wearing their life jackets at all times.

The Coast Guard recommends that you always file a float plan before setting out and leave it with a reliable source. This information; including boat name, type and identification, route and expected return time can be extremely helpful in locating missing and late boaters.

Personal Locator Beacons can be purchased and kept in your boat or on your person if you are going out on the water. These devices are specifically registered with the owner and send a satellite signal to rescue agencies for a quick response time when a boater is in distress.

The number of deaths in 2020 exceeded 2019 by 24%, and deaths in June, July and August 2020 were the highest in 23 years.

The most recent statistics show that 79% of boating deaths on our nation’s waterways were drownings, and 86% of those victims were not wearing life jackets.

This year, wearing an engine cut-off switch link has become a requirement when operating certain pleasure craft. Each year, nearly 75 people die and 400 more are injured when struck by a propeller or a ship.

Especially for new paddle steamer owners who may not be aware, the Coast Guard strongly urges you to tag your gear. This includes boats, oars and life jackets. Each year, the Coast Guard responds to unmanned vessels, oars, and even pool floats that have strayed from their proper storage location. You can save responders time and resources by labeling your equipment with name and contact details.

For more information on National Boating Safety Week and boating safety requirements.

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About Tommy Dodd

Tommy Dodd

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