The Friday before Memorial Day, the annual Blessing of the Boats took place over by the Captain of the Helm statue near Dock Street in Chicago, officially opening Boating Season 2011.
Of course, lots of antsy locals were already getting their boats prepped and in the water – and they’ve been doing it since early April. Our time on Lake Michigan is never long enough, we have a short boating season up here, and the sooner you start getting your boat into Lake Michigan, the better, right?
Boating Safety and Boating Accidents
Last week was the annual National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – 27). According to the latest boating accident statistics compiled by the United States Coast Guard, there were 102 boating accidents in Indiana in 2009; 25 people died in them.
The sad truth is that even with all the safety campaigns and other efforts, there will be Illinois families who leave their homes in the morning for a funfilled day on the water, unaware that their lives will never be the same because they will be in a boating accident that day. Please don’t be one of them.
Wear Life Jackets and Avoid BOI
Remember to wear safety gear – including life jackets – and never to board a boat where the one driving the boat is drunk. Not only is this smart, it’s the law: in Illinois, there are life jacket laws (mandatory for those under the age of 13 and on any watercraft less that 26′ long) and the same types of laws that have been enacted for driving under the influence are in effect for boating.