The Sea Tow Foundation Announced the inaugural National Boating Industry Safety Awards winners during a gala event held on November 22, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Honorees included Bonnier Corporation (Publisher of Boating), Sea Ray Boats, Marine Max, Yamaha Motor Corporation and Freedom Boat Club. The awards event kicked off the Elevate Summit.
Bonnier Corporation was judged on the merits of the efforts and initiatives of multiple titles, including Boating, Wakeboarding, Cruising World, Sailing World, Saltwater Sportsman, Sportfishing, Yachting and for the efforts of its web team and video production department. On hand to accept the award for Bonnier were Boating Editor-in-Chief and Boating and Watersports Editorial Director, Kevin Falvey and Boating Publisher and Brand Director, John McEver.
According to SeaTow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp, Bonnier’s titles won for both the depth and breadth of coverage as well as the strength of the initiatives, which includes a grant partnership with the United States Coast Guard.
Said Kulp: “Bonnier, whose broad boating safety initiatives and editorial content were reflected in multiple boating consumer titles that reach thousands of readers and recreational boating enthusiasts. “Bonnier Corporation is awarded the top marine media award because they did a great job developing and publishing exceptional safe boating editorial and video content; demonstrated evidence of outreach via extensive data collection; plus hosted a multi-faceted boating safety campaign that crossed print, email and social media channels with entire editions of publications focused on boating safety,” said Kulp.
Read the complete press release from Sea Tow Foundation, below.
Southold, NY, December 2, 2019 – The Sea Tow Foundation recently announced winners of its inaugural National Boating Industry Safety Awards at the Elevate Summit in Orlando. The awards were sponsored and judged by the newly established North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and funded through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The awards were established to recognize the best boating safety work in the for-profit sector of the recreational marine marketplace occurring within the United States.
The Top Marine Manufacturer Award for Boating Safety was presented to Sea Ray Boats. Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp said, “Sea Ray Boats launched an effective and highly targeted email and social media marketing campaign over the summer boating holiday weekends and promoted several boating safety initiatives including the importance of boaters wearing life jackets at all times; practicing responsible drinking and having a designated captain;and staying alert and being aware of surroundings.”
Taking the Top Marine Retailer Award for Boating Safety was MarineMax, a company which has long championed boating safety among boating consumers. Kulp noted, “From the development of hands-on boating safety classes to the production of safety-focused videos, MarineMax is providing outstanding educational opportunities for new boaters as well as those in need of a refresher. In addition, the MarineMax social media posts consistently promoted additional awareness about boating safety through ongoing messages via multiple platforms.”
The Sober Skipper National Advisory Council also created a category to recognize the best work of marine media in promoting boating safety. This year’s winner of the Top Marine Media Award for Boating Safety was Bonnier Corporation whose broad boating safety initiatives and editorial content were reflected in multiple boating consumer titles that reach thousands of readers and recreational boating enthusiasts.“Bonnier Corporation is awarded the top marine media award because they did a great job developing and publishing exceptional safe boating editorial and video content; demonstrated evidence of outreach via extensive data collection; plus hosted a multi-faceted boating safety campaign that crossed print, email and social media channels with entire editions of publications focused on boating safety,” said Kulp
The Top Marine Marketing and Boating Safety Outreach Award was won by Yamaha Outboards. Said Kulp, “Yamaha tapped Hunter Bland, a respected professional angler and influencer, to deliver spot-on boating safety messages that reached a targeted group of youth and young anglers. The grassroots campaign featured live special events coupled with branded campaign video and social media components.”
In addition, a newly established Sober Skipper Award was presented by the Sea Tow Foundation to Freedom Boat Club in recognition of its outstanding adoption and promotion of the Sober Skipper program. The largest and oldest boat club in North America with more than 185 locations, Freedom Boat Club advocates for boating safety by asking each member at every dock to identify a designated Sober Skipper before departure. While this initiative has reportedly saved Freedom Boat Club thousands of dollars in boat damage and liability costs, it has no doubt saved the lives of members and their friends, while allowing them to maximize and enjoy their time on the water.
“We have worked closely with Freedom Boat Club over the past three years and the company has demonstrated just how easy and effective it is to incorporate the Sober Skipper message into its business model,” said Kulp. “We are pleased to establish this new award to recognize the outstanding work of our partners like Freedom Boat Club who actively and successfully promote boating safety award to recognize the outstanding work of our partners like Freedom Boat Club who actively and successfully promote boating safety message.
Added Kulp, “The National Sober Skipper Advisory Council and the Sea Tow Foundation are very pleased by the caliber of candidates and the submissions received for our first awards recognition. We are all delighted to see the great work being done by recreational boating industry organizations and look forward to continuing to support and bring well deserved recognition to outstanding achievers and safe boating champions throughout the recreational marine industry.”
For more information about the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and the National Boating Industry Safety Awards, please visit the Sober Skipper website at: www.soberskipper.com
Members of the Sea Tow Foundation’s North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council include David Connolly, Thomas H. Connolly and Sons; David Dickerson, NMMA; Jim Emmons, Water Sports Foundation; Kevin Falvey, Bonnier/Boating Magazine; Mike Hankins, Crevalle Boats; John Jost, Ken Cook Company; Captain Keith Lake, MarineMax; Dave Marlow, Brunswick Corporation; Captain Frank Stoeber, Regal Boats; Nic Thomas, Freedom Boat Club; Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF; Annamarie Worrell, Emerald Coast Marine Group. The council’s executive committee includes Kristen Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Services International; Gail R. Kulp and Michael Wesolowski, Sea Tow Foundation; and Wanda Kenton Smith, Kenton Smith Marketing.
Sea Tow Foundation
With a focus on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water, the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – was established in 2007 by Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer. After his passing in 2015, Captain Joe’s legacy continues as the Foundation brings attention to the number of preventable boating-related accidents, injuries, and deaths, and directly addresses prevention methods through education and awareness. More than 600 life jacket loaner stands are now available across the United States and the Foundation’s Sober Skipper program continues to grow. For more information on the Sea Tow Foundation, please visit BoatingSafety.com.