Coast Guard, City of Chicago, Department of Natural Resources to kick off National Safe Boating Week

Thursday, 18 May 2017


CHICAGO  —  The Coast Guard, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Chicago Police and Fire Departments will kick off the annual observance of National Safe Boating Week at Navy Pier, Friday.  

The kick-off event will take place immediately following the annual Blessing of the Fleet, hosted by the International Shipmasters Association, and will provide an overview of each agency's role in promoting and enforcing safe boating practices on Lake Michigan and the river system. 

National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 20-26, is an annual observance sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard and promoted by multiple state and local agencies throughout the U.S. The campaign promotes safe and responsible boating, including the value of wearing a life jacket. Fatalities and accidents on the water can be eliminated through safe and responsible boating.


WHO:              Chief Warrant Officer Matthews James, U.S. Coast Guard

                          Sergeant Karl Hajdu, Chicago Police Department Marine and Helicopter Unit

                      Chief Ronald Dorneker, Chicago Fire Department Marine Unit

                          Sergeant Jed Whitchurch, Illinois Department of Natural Resources 

WHAT:            To promote National Safe Boating Week, the Coast Guard, Chicago Police and Fire Department and Illinois Department of Natural Resources will provide an overview of each agency’s role in enforcing safe boating practices on Lake Michigan and river system.


                         Helicopter rescue demonstration by Chicago Fire Department


                         Ride along opportunities aboard agency assets


                        Media availabilities and one-on-one interviews with subject matter experts from the Coast Guard, Chicago Police and Fire Departments and Illinois Department of Natural Resources



WHERE:            Navy Pier’s Wave Wall – 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL


WHEN:              Friday, May 19, 1 p.m. following the Blessing of the Fleet


To arrange for interviews with agency representatives or to participate in ride alongs, contact Marine Safety Unit Chicago’s Public Affairs Officer, Lt. Lindsay Cook at (630) 986-2131 or



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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 May 2017 )