George Bush photo

Proclamation 5987—National Safe Boating Week, 1989

May 24, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The lure of the open water attracts increasing numbers of Americans to the scenic waterways of our country each year. Recreational boating has become one of this Nation's most popular leisure-time activities. It is estimated that more than 70 million Americans will take to the water this year to enjoy fishing, hunting, waterskiing, cruising, sailing, and other activities involving the use of a boat.

Unfortunately, an improperly handled boat can be a dangerous or even deadly instrument. More than one thousand persons die each year on our country's lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, and bays. National Safe Boating Week is proclaimed, therefore, as an appeal to all Americans to respect the marine environment and to operate watercraft in a safe and prudent manner.

Boating remains one of the least regulated transportation activities, making it imperative that all pilots be familiar with safe operating procedures as well as the rules and courtesies of the waterways. Because safe boating is not a simple proposition and because there is much information every operator needs to know before going out on the water, the theme of the 1989 National Safe Boating Week is "Know Before You Go." All boaters, especially those who operate small vessels for fishing, hunting, and other sports, need to know the craft they are using and the environment in which they will be operating. Most important, all boaters should know their own personal limitations and responsibilities so they do not lead themselves and others into situations beyond their skill or physical endurance.

The majority of boating accidents are the result of pilot error; ignorance and intoxication are major threats to safety. Boaters should be aware that operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only dangerous and irresponsible, but also a Federal offense punishable by substantial civil and criminal penalties. Those using watercraft must be well-informed, sober, and prepared to deal with hazardous situations.

Safe boating is the responsibility of everyone who uses America's waterways. Let us all join with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons, the American Red Cross Water Safety Program, and the other member organizations of the National Safe Boating Council in making National Safe Boating Week the start of a major campaign to educate boaters to "know before they go."

In recognition of the need for boating safety, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved June 4, 1958 (36 U.S.C. 161), as amended, authorized and requested the President to proclaim annually the week commencing on the first Sunday in June as National Safe Boating Week.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning June 4, 1989, as National Safe Boating Week. I also invite the Governors of the States, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to provide for the observance of this week.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 5987—National Safe Boating Week, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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