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MBAC Celebrates Boating Safety Day

Safe boating Day is May 17.
In partnership with the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways we will be kicking off National Safe Boating Week on Sunday, May 17th. Our celebration of Safe Boating Day includes free kayak and paddleboard rentals, a free lifejacket giveaway, and used equipment sale. Be sure to pick up some safe boating materials while you’re here.

Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the regional boating safety center for the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways. We are excited to share our passion for boating safely while having fun with fellow San Diegans.

Boating Safety Day fun will begin at 8am on May 17th where you will be able to pick up a free lifejacket, rent a kayak or paddleboard for free, or browse our used equipment sale. All rentals for the day must be returned by 5:30pm. Bring the entire family down to share in our excitement of boating safely while having a great time.


Meet the Wear It California! Crew at MBAC at 9 a.m. and bring your old unserviceable or outgrown life jacket to trade in for a new, free lifejacket. Supplies are limited, so come early!


All figures are from the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2013 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics, the latest official record of reported recreational boating accidents.

  • Drowning was reported as the cause of death in three-fourths of all fatalities.
  • Approximately 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
  • In 2013, the Coast Guard counted 4,062 accidents that involved 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries and approximately $39 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • The fatality rate was 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This is a 13% decrease from 2012 fatality rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
  • About 13 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
  • Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure rank as the top 5 primary contributing factors in accidents.
  • Alcohol use ranks as a contributing factor in 16% of the deaths.
  • Twenty-two children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2013. Eight children, or approximately 36% of the children who died in 2013 died from drowning. (Five children or 62.5 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.)
  • The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (18%) and cabin motorboats (17%).
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