The headline begins this column with a maxim relating to your vessel. But it is much more profound.

“Whatever floats your boat,” was apparently first used in the middle of the last century, referring to making a personal decision about a particular subject or task. It also basically implied indifference, which also directly references boating safety, or lack thereof. Although the phrase’s meaning is not connected to a boat, it has a critical lateral message, something we will discuss further in more detail.

Summer boating season is almost here. Each day brings something unique and unexpected. My objective for the month of May is to remind everyone of risk management and water safety, by celebrating

National Safe Boating Week, May 22-28.

Boating statistics aren’t subject to personal opinion. The numbers conclusively point to drowning as the leading cause of death in water-related accidents. According to published information found in the U.S. Coast Guard brochure, How to Choose the Right Life Jacket: “One-half of all recreational boating fatalities happen in calm water.” If you want to understand more about preventing incidents such as these or obtain a copy of the brochure, contact the USCG Auxiliary, America’s Boating Club, or a recreational boating safety program partner.

Of course, accidents always occur unexpectedly. There are many boating safety elements that can reduce the chance of accidents, but not all components are equal in benefit – some even unintentionally regarded with complacency. The most critical aspect, and also the easiest to apply, is wearing a properly fitting life jacket.

Please prepare for the possibility of needing the extra buoyancy when something happens and that moment arrives.

Maybe the old saying of “Whatever floats your boat,” needs to read, “Whatever floats YOU and your boat.”