PUBLISHED: 5:17 PM on Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Simple steps for safe boating
As the American Red Cross of Southeast Alaska gets ready to depart on their annual wine and whales cruise, two tickets for $90 or one ticket for $50, boarding at the Dan Statter harbor at 5 p.m. with a departure of 5:30 p.m. on May 10, the people at at the Red Cross thought this to be a great time to talk tips about safe boating.

Take a boat safety class and know your boat. Know your boats load limit and don't exceed it. Always carry the necessary safety gear and know how to use it.

As with our highways, water ways also have a set of rules; learn and follow them and always be on the look out for those who may not being looking for you.

Now, on the subject of boating and alcohol, as with drinking and driving, drinking and boating don't mix. When piloting a vessel, you should stay sober. If you are bringing along alcoholic beverages for your passengers, common sense and moderation should dictate the amount of alcohol consumed on your boat. A sobering fact to remember is that 50 percent of all boating fatalities are alcohol related.

So as you get ready to hit the waterways this summer remember the four principles of safe boating.

1. Wearing life jackets saves lives.

2. Boater education saves lives.

3. Safe boats save lives.

4. Sober boating saves lives.

If you're going to boat then it makes sense to know how to swim. Swim classes are offered through your local pool and are Red Cross certified. Keep life jackets visible and accessible and remember to always have properly fitting life jackets for all members of your family especially your youngest passengers.

For more information on safe boating or other courses offered by the American Red Cross, call our offices at 463-5713 and have a safe and happy summer.

About the American Red Cross of Alaska: Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross of Alaska is dedicated to saving lives and helping Alaskans prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by over 1,500 volunteers and 27 employees, last year the American Red Cross of Alaska mobilized relief to over 1,050 Alaskans affected by disaster, trained over 32,000 people in lifesaving skills and taught more than 78,500 Alaskans how to be better prepared for disasters.

For more information about the American Red Cross of Alaska, please visit our website at