Sea Tow Foundation National Boating Safety Industry Awards Announced For 2022

Foundation’s Boating Safety Advisory Council recognizes promotion of boating safety within the for-profit sector of the marine industry.

Sea Tow Foundation Awards
National Boating Industry Safety Awards 2022 Winners Courtesy Sea Tow Foundation

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Southold, NY (October 18, 2022) – The Sea Tow Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting boating safety, in conjunction with its Boating Safety Advisory Council, just announced the winners of their fourth annual National Boating Industry Safety Awards. The awards recognize efforts to promote safety on the water within the for-profit sector of the boating industry. 

“We received a record number of applications this year and were so happy to see the enthusiasm for boating safety across the for-profit side of the industry,” says Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “The creative efforts made by every applicant get us one step closer to making the water a safe and fun place to be. We want to encourage everyone in the industry to promote boating safety and look forward to seeing even more applications next year!” 

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Initially the awards were slated to be presented prior to the start of IBEX 2022 in Tampa, FL at the Soundings Trade Only Most Innovative Company Awards event that was canceled due to Hurricane Ian. The Sea Tow Foundation’s thoughts and prayers are with the state of Florida during their continued recovery from the storm. 

We are excited to share that honorees will receive the awards via a special online awards ceremony. The awards ceremony and video interviews with the winners will be posted to the Sea Tow Foundation’s website and shared on LinkedIn on Thursday, October 20. The winners of the 2022 National Boating Industry Safety Awards are:

Top Marine Media Outlet – Rapid Media

For the second year, Rapid Media has won the top prize in this category, but for a completely new project. As a contractor for the Water Sports Foundation, they developed a targeted boating safety marketing campaign focused on the highest risk, most difficult to reach new paddlers, many of whom purchased from non-boating retailers which lack boating safety and educational components. Reaching and influencing this audience required “out of the box” thinking. Multiple media platforms were used with impressive results.

Garmin sonar
Garmin International, maker of a variety of marine products, including new sonar with real time images (shown) won a National Boating Safety Industry Award as Top Gear & Equipment Manufacturer. Courtesy Garmin

Top Gear & Equipment Manufacturer – Garmin International

Starting with a focused public relations campaign during National Safe Boating Week, Garmin International succeeded in its multi-channel marketing approach to promote safe and responsible boating. Efforts included blogs, social media, video, email and strategic alliances with safe boating organizations featuring evergreen content to reach a broad audience across the boating demographic. Garmin is clearly invested in safety as a key cornerstone of its company identity, its brands, and the products it sells. 

1st Place Marine Public Relations, Advertising or Marketing Effort – Chubb Personal Risk Services

As an insurance company, Chubb Personal Risk Services invested in an engaging campaign designed to minimize risk by delivering comprehensive coverage of boating safety. Its marketing campaign raised awareness and helped prepare boaters for a safe and enjoyable boating season. Utilizing multiple marketing platforms including a mix of social media, email and its website, Chubb deployed high quality photos, videos, and targeted boating safety to effectively reach and influence its boating audience.   

2nd Place Marine Public Relations, Advertising or Marketing Effort – Colle McVoy

As the advertising agency for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Colle McVoy launched a consumer-facing campaign entitled “Get On Board” to encourage boaters to get on the water and go fishing, but to do so safely utilizing life jackets and other safety gear. The campaign leveraged digital efforts, social media and traditional media via a joint PSA video produced in partnership with the National Marine Manufacturers Association to showcase active families, women boaters, and other under-represented groups, featuring custom music and lyrics to illustrate the joys of boating. 

*SPECIAL NOTE: The final scores for the two top companies in the Marine Public Relations, Advertising, or Marketing Effort were within just a few points of one another, so the executive committee determined that both entries were deserving of recognition and decided to give the award to both by creating a first and second place for this category. 

Top Large Marine Retailer – MarineMax

For the fourth consecutive year, MarineMax demonstrated its commitment to boating safety in its new “Back to (Boating) School” campaign. Utilizing multiple delivery methods including email, social media, video, and its website, MarineMax focused on the back-to-school timeframe to remind even the most seasoned boaters the importance of ongoing boater education and safety. Using an interactive online quiz, boaters can test their knowledge and as a logical next step, MarineMax offers boating safety classes and events throughout its organization to help boaters become more knowledgeable and proficient on the water. 


Top Social Media Boating Safety Influencer – The Qualified Captain 

The Executive Committee created a special award designation to recognize distinguished performance in the social media category for The Qualified Captain. While numerous content providers and platforms share “boating gone wrong” videos on social media to earn likes and shares, The Qualified Captain has adopted a highly effective educational approach to this effort, earning bragging rights as the number one social media influencing page in the boating industry. With more than 906,000 followers, The Qualified Captain champions responsible boating safety, showcasing not only what could go wrong and how to avoid the pitfalls, but also offering an online boating safety course to promote safety and education. 

For more information about the awards program, and the Sea Tow Foundation’s Advisory Council, visit


The Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – was started in 2007 by Captain Joe Frohnhoefer, founder of Sea Tow Services International, after he witnessed too many preventable accidents and fatalities on the water. Through its flagship programs which include the Life Jacket Loaner Program, Sober Skipper Campaign, and the National Boating Industry Safety Awards, the Sea Tow Foundation strives towards its vision of a world where boaters are safe and responsible. 

To learn more, visit

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