National Safe Boating Council

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National Safe Boating Council logo since 1958.
National Safe Boating Council

The National Safe Boating Council is a membership organization with over 300 U.S. and International members committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. The Council is committed to providing education and training programs to promote a safe recreational boating experience.[1]

The National Safe Boating Council is the leading organization managing the North American Safe Boating Campaign, uniting the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the many members of the National Safe Boating Council.[2]


The National Safe Boating Council was formed in September 1958 as the National Safe Boating Committee to educate boaters about safe boating during National Safe Boating Week.[3]

The first time there was a week designated to safe boating was in June 1952 when the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary observed a “Safe Boating Week” as a Courtesy Examination weekend in Amesburg, Massachusetts. This tradition continued until 1957 when an official National Safe Boating Week observation took place sponsored by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in various parts of the country.[4]

As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard prepared a Resolution, and on June 4, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed PL 85-445, to establish National Safe Boating Week as the first week starting on the first Sunday in June.[5][6] The National Safe Boating Week Committee, now known as the National Safe Boating Council, organized the event by coordinating efforts among the various boating safety groups.[7] In 1995, the date for National Safe Boating Week was finally changed to the full week (Saturday – Friday) before Memorial Day Weekend each year. This allowed the message of safe boating to reach more boaters before the season and enforce the message for a longer amount of time each year.[8][9]

The National Safe Boating Week Committee branched out on its own as the National Safe Boating Committee, Inc. in 1973 to lead major boating safety efforts. The following year, the committee was reincorporated as the National Safe Boating Council, Inc.[10]

The Council’s efforts are led by Executive Director Rachel Johnson.[11] Johnson serves as the technical content advisor in direct support of the NSBC’s education, training and outreach programs; plans and develops national boating safety awareness projects and campaigns; and serves as a representative of the NSBC to national and international organizations. Johnson has been with the NSBC for six years, previously as its Communications Director.

Johnson is an Associate Member and past Charge Leader on NASBLA’s Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee. She is the Chairperson for the Life Jacket Wear Rate Tiger Team and sits on the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Outreach Work Group. Rachel is a committee member on National Boating Safety Advisory Council’s (NBSAC) Objective 4. Life Jacket Wear charge and newly appointed NOAA regional Marine Users Committee member. During her time with the National Safe Boating Council, Rachel was a “camper” in “Cold Water Boot Camp” USA and also participated in a boating under the influence DVD in Canada. These experiences have helped Johnson understand firsthand the effects of cold water immersion, hypothermia, and drinking and boating.[12]


Currently, the Council supports a volunteer membership of over 300 organizations. These organizations are federal, state and local agencies involved in recreational boating safety and educational activities, national and regional nonprofit public service organizations, and boating industry organizations. Membership is diverse, with approximately 65% of the membership being nonprofit organizations and 35% being for-profit organizations.[10]


The Council promotes and sponsors boating safety instructor training courses and programs including:[10]

Boating safety instructor training course
A partnership training program between the Council and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators designed to recognize the instructor candidate’s prior training and instructor experience.[10]
Close-quarters boat control course
A defensive boat handling and close quarter control course that focuses on maneuvers and techniques for enforcement officers and agencies that need good skills in operating power boats while performing their duties.[10]
Boating Safety Sidekicks
Introduced in 2000 for children to learn about safe boating practices and how they can become safer boaters.[13]
North American Safe Boating Campaign
The official entrance of Canada in 2000 transformed National Safe Boating Week into a larger, international event.[2]

Annual Conference[edit]

In 1997, the Council joined with the National Water Safety Congress (NWSC) to create one, annual event called the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS).[14] The IBWSS is the premier event for training, awareness, meeting and networking for anyone involved in boating and water safety.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “National Safe Boating Council – NSBC”. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  2. ^ a b “Wear It! Campaign”. North American Safe Boating Campaign. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  3. ^ "The National Safe Boating Council." National Safe Boating Council. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  4. ^ "About the Auxiliary." U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  5. ^ “National Safe Boating Week – Why?”. Atlantic Maritime Academy. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  6. ^ “Public Law 85-445”. The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  7. ^ “Proclamation 6570 – National Safe Boating Week, 1993”. The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  8. ^ “NSBC celebrates 50 years”. North American Safe Boating Campaign. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  9. ^ “H.R.2150”. The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  10. ^ a b c d e “National Safe Boating Council”. National Safe Boating Council. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  11. ^ "Rachel Johnson, CAE". Linkedin. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ “Boating Safety Sidekicks”. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  14. ^

External links[edit]