Leonardtown, MD –On average, 650 people die each year in boating related accidents across the country. Nearly 80% of those deaths are caused by drowning, with the vast majority determined to be human error or poor judgment and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors. With the summer boating season approaching, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County celebrated national Safe Boating Week to encourage safe boating practices.

It’s estimated 83% of boaters who lose their lives by drowning each year would be alive today had they worn their life jackets. Modern life jackets are more comfortable, attractive and wearable than styles of years past.

“The Patuxent River Sail and Power Squadron has provided Boating Education to the citizens of St. Mary’s County and Southern Maryland for over 60 years,” said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2ndDistrict). “Successful completion of the Maryland Boating Course meets the educational requirements for boat operation in all states.”

In recognizing National Safe Boating Week, the commissioners kicked off the year-round effort to promote safe boating and urge all citizens who boat to “Wear It” and practice safe boating habits.