LIVONIA, Mich., May 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As of April 1, 2009, the Secretary of State reports Michigan has more than 921,773 registered boats on file and Michigan State University estimates there are another 200,000 - 300,000 legally unregistered boats in the state. With more than one million recreational boats on Michigan lakes and rivers, it is clear that boating is a popular pastime. Annual boating statistics show that recreational boating is also a very safe activity.
National Safe Boating Week, May 21 - 28, 2010, is a time during which we seek to raise awareness to improve safety and reduce accidents on our Michigan waters. "Michigan boaters need to be commended on an admirable safety record, however, accidents still happen each year and even one is too many," said Michigan Boating Industries Association President Van Snider. "We are proud of Michigan's safe boating record, but we must all continue to work to remind boaters of the importance of safety and responsible behavior."
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources' (MDNR) reports show that through the years, boating accidents and fatalities in Michigan have declined steadily as boat registrations in this state have increased dramatically. There were 36 boating related fatalities in 2009 and, according to the April, 2009, Secretary of State report, 921,773 registered boats on file (1 out of every 25,604 boaters) compared to 88 boating related fatalities in Michigan in 1967 with 385,124 registered boats on file (when 1 out of every 4,376 boaters had a fatal accident).
Across the Nation, and in Michigan, many groups are working to teach recreational boaters how they can make boating safer and more enjoyable. These include the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron, the MDNRE's Law Enforcement Division, the National Safe Boating Council, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, local Sheriff's Marine Divisions, many Michigan boat dealers and BoatUS.
These groups recommend that boaters get boat safety checks, ensure that boats are properly maintained, take safe boating classes, be aware of homeland security issues, always wear a life jacket, and never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"Education and then applying what we learn is important," said Snider. "By taking a boating safety course, wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) and acting responsibly, recreational boaters can reduce the risk of accidents and increase their level of enjoyment on the water."
The MBIA is a state-wide trade association representing the recreational boating industry in Michigan. The MBIA membership is comprised of businesses which manufacture, distribute, service and sell recreational marine products. This includes facilities such as boat dealerships, various types of marine retail stores, marinas, boat yards, boat and accessory manufacturers, distributors and service companies. The MBIA also produces the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, the Spring Boating Expo at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, and the Boating & Outdoor Recreation Festival in Mt. Clemens, Mich. The Boater's Association of Michigan (BAM) is a division of MBIA and serves as a voice for boaters in Michigan. For more information go to www.mbia.org.
SOURCE Michigan Boating Industries Association