Observe Boating Safety in Door County: Life jackets promoted, free vessel safety checks offered

Sturgeon Bay – The yearlong 2021 Safe Boating Campaign launched last week, and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla in Sturgeon Bay is promoting the value of voluntary, consistent life-jacket use by recreational boaters. U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2019, and that 86% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. 

New varieties of life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are also innovative options such as inflatable life jackets that allow mobility and flexibility for boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and they’re much cooler in warmer weather. 

New this year is a federal law requiring the use of an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) by any underway vessels that are equipped with an ECOS device. 

If you have questions regarding this device or vessel safety, request a free vessel safety check for power boats and paddle craft from Sturgeon Bay’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel examiners. There will be no citations or fees – just a safety check to make sure boaters have the equipment necessary to stay safer on the water.

Find out more from Jeff Feuerstein, flotilla commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla in Sturgeon Bay, at [email protected].