Boating and Alcohol Public Service Announcement

Editor's Note: From time to time, we teach our student interns about journalism and allow them to prepare a news release about a department activity. The following article was written by Dante Searcy, who is a college student in Sacramento and handles our large orders for boating safety pamphlets. Congratulations to Dante for writing an accurate, concise, and clear article in his first journalistic undertaking.

On June 6th, 2003, the Department of Boating and Waterways completed a public service announcement (PSA) which addresses the dangers of operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. The PSA, filmed on Folsom Lake, was directed by Robert Knop of the University of California, Davis Mediaworks Department. "We are glad to have completed this project, and we hope that it will prompt boaters to limit or even cease to consume alcohol when operating their vessel," says Raynor Tsuneyoshi, Director of the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

Department statistics show that in 2002, nearly 50% of all boating fatalities in California were alcohol related. A person is considered intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%. Boating skills decline as alcohol begins to reduce reaction time, balance and coordination, depth perception, vision, and concentration.

The PSA depicts two groups of boaters enjoying a day on the river. One group does not have alcohol with them, and the other group does. It shows that the second group is clearly not focused on safe boating, and the two boats eventually collide. The PSA ends by stating that 50% of boating fatalities are alcohol related.

The PSA is thirty seconds long. The Department of Boating and Waterways plans to send it to every television station in California, with the hope that they will air it free of charge as a public service. DBW received its funding for the PSA from the gasoline taxes paid by boaters. Each year DBW funds a PSA for television about boating safety issues.

Watch the PSA