NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


September 25, 2006

Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today, in a speech to the State Boating Law Administrators, emphasized boater education, the need to change the recreational boating culture to one that accepts the wearing of life jackets and discussed the NTSB's Most Wanted safety recommendations aimed to prevent accidents on our waterways. During the 2006 National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) conference held in Louisville, Kentucky, he also extended an invitation to members to attend the NTSB's Passenger Vessel Safety on Sole State waters to discuss the emerging safety issue of passenger vessels on these waterways.

As a result of the Safety Board's investigation of the ETHAN ALLEN accident on Lake George, New York, the NTSB suggested to the United States Coast Guard and the NASBLA that a joint training seminar would be a positive interim measure to address some of the safety concerns learned from this and other passenger vessel accidents. On October 4 - 5, 2006, the Safety Board will host a seminar, for invited state officials, that will provide the nuts and bolts of instituting a sound inspection and certification program. During the two-day event, some of topics discussed will be: certification and safety inspection; stability and seaworthiness; passenger and crew safety; crew qualifications and training; marine accident reporting; and reporting of accidents/incidents.

"The Safety Board supports efforts to increased safety in every way possible," Rosenker said. "Safety Board Members and staff have testified in a number of States in the 2006 legislative cycle and we are available to come to any State, any legislative committee, conference or meeting that addresses recreational boating safety because we must do our job and that's to reduce fatalities, injuries and accidents."

Earlier this month, the Board voted to keep Recreational Boating Safety Issues on the Board's Most Wanted Safety Improvements list for 2007. The Board's Safety Recommendation has three parts: mandatory use of lifejackets by children, recreational boating safety education, and operator licensing and the need for persons renting personal watercraft (PWCs) to be provided some safety instruction training prior to operating such vessels.

During the conference, Chairman Rosenker presented NTSB Safety Board awards to the United States Virgin Islands, the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for meeting four specific safety criteria. They were: the implementation of a mandatory education program that eventually will cover all recreational boaters; the mandatory use of personal flotation devices (lifejackets) for children ages 12 and under [under age 13]; strengthened alcohol and boating laws including at a minimum a defined blood alcohol concentration and implied consent; and the inclusion of personal watercraft information in all State boating courses. These were the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Safety boating safety awards given to states and territories by the Safety Board.

The full text of the speech is available on the NTSB website at: www.ntsb.gov

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.