Major Tom ushers National Safe Boating Week on Columbia River

About 30 boaters and recreationalists attempted to help set a world record May 16 during the 6th annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event for Lifejacket World Record Day. (Corps of Engineers photo)

About 30 boaters and recreationalists attempted to help set a world record May 16 during the 6th annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event for Lifejacket World Record Day. (Corps of Engineers photo)

A card board boat, was christened The Major Tom, by park staff. (Corps of Engineers photo)

A card board boat, was christened The Major Tom, by park staff. (Corps of Engineers photo)

 

About 30 boaters and recreationalists attempted to help set a world record May 16 during the 6th annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event for Lifejacket World Record Day.

The goal was to promote some comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets and educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general. Columbia Hills State Park amphitheater was the setting for a group photo, with everyone wearing their life jacket. Afterwards, the group watched park staff launch a card board boat, christened The Major Tom, onto the lake. “We decided to name the makeshift boat Major Tom because we didn’t know if it was coming back from its journey,” said Sarah Green, interpretive assistant with Washington State Parks.

The cardboard-and-duck-tape canoe successfully navigated a buoyed obstacle course through the chilly water, returning Green safely to the shore. Afterwards, visitors hunkered down around a campfire to stay warm despite the wind and enjoyed roasting marshmallows.

Corps of Engineers park ranger Amber Tilton was on hand to speak to the group, sharing safe boating do’s and don’ts. “The purpose for this gathering was to teach people that fun and safety do mix. It’s a recipe that makes sure you will come home,” Tilton said.