If you’re texting from the helm, you’re likely not helming the boat—that’s essential message from the BoatUS Foundation as part of National Safe Boating Week May 20-26 on the dangers of texting while operating a powerboat. The new campaign, which was announced in a press release, cites National Traffic Safety Commission information that states “sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds.”

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Piloting a powerboat requires undivided attention, which makes texting at the helm a dangerous practice. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

In the boating environment where vessels of various types can approach from any direction at various speeds speed, five seconds of inattention is particularly dangerous. That’s especially on popular waterways during busy weekends.

“Cellphones are the primary communication device for many boaters,” said Ted Sensenbrenner, assistant director of boating safety for the BoatUS Foundation. “So while they’re important to all of us, we have to know how to use them wisely. If you’re texting from the helm, you’re likely not helming the boat.”

With the boating season getting started, the BoatUS Foundation is urging captains to say away from the mobile phones while they’re operating their vessels. For more information, visit the BoatUS website.

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