Boat Parade Safety 101

Whether you’re a spectator or a participant, nighttime boat parades featuring festive lights and creative boat and yacht displays can be one of the most fun and memorable traditions of the entire holiday season. From San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf Holiday Lights & Sights Boat Parade to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Winterfest Boat Parade, scores of cities and towns across the country light up the skies with dazzling Christmas-themed, floating showstoppers. Spectators only need conduct a simple internet search to find locally available parade sites and viewing times.

For parade participants, however, evening boat outings in the cooler winter months require special safety considerations. The Water Sports Foundation encourages boaters to plan ahead to stay safe as they participate in holiday boat parades by following these six safety tips.

Suit Up Like Santa: Wear Your Life Jacket! Drowning is the cause of death in 79 percent of fatal boating accidents where the cause of death was known; 86 percent of those drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. With parade participants often actively engaged in onboard movement and dance step routines, it’s important to be well prepared and suited up for safety. Boaters should all don U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets…