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U.S. Coast Guard, Fishing Legend Bill Dance Join Together to Promote Boating Safety


WASHINGTON, July 1 -– The U.S. Coast Guard announced today that it is joining with Mr. Bill Dance, the star of the Outdoor Life Network’s Bill Dance Outdoors, to target two of the highest at-risk groups for boating fatalities: hunters and anglers.

Dance’s 30 years of fishing expertise and loyal and dedicated following in the angling and hunting communities make him an excellent partner for the U.S. Coast Guard’s boating safety efforts. He will be lending his presence and voice to a public service campaign featured on television, radio and print public service announcements that highlight boating safety messages. These messages will be released just before the July 4th weekend, the most active boating weekend of the summer season.

“I’ve been fishing on TV for quite awhile now, and if my advice can help save someone’s life, then I think it’s my duty to do that,” said Dance, an expert angler and member of the International Fishing Hall of Fame.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that one third of all recreational boating fatalities occur while people are fishing or hunting. The most common types of boats involved in reported accidents are open motorboats, 21 feet and under. Ninety percent of all the victims who drowned are not wearing a life jacket and historically alcohol is involved in one third of all fatalities.

“We are proud to have a highly respected fishing expert like Bill Dance support our initiative to promote boating safety among the growing outdoor enthusiast audience,” said Captain James Hass, acting director of Coast Guard operations policy. “His ability to influence boaters everywhere, particularly anglers, to ’boat responsibly’, makes him an ideal spokesman to attract the attention of outdoor sportsmen.”

The U.S. Coast Guard asks all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include always wearing a life jacket and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence; successfully completing a boating safety course; and getting a vessel safety check annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons(r), or your State boating agency’s vessel examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters, “You’re in Command. Boat Responsibly!”


For Print:

Sidebar (graphic with pertinent angler/hunter statistics) available at: A perfect companion piece to any boating story.

For Radio:

Download PSA’s here:

For more information on the “You’re in Command” initiative and boating responsibly, go to or call the U.S. Coast Guard Infoline: 1-800-368-5647.


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