Governor Laura Kelly Proclaims May 21-27 as Safe Boating Week


PRATT – Kansas reservoirs are a treasured outdoor resource in the Sunflower State, offering numerous opportunities to boat, paddle, ski and swim. And while these activities can be a safe and healthy option for all, precautions must be taken.

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) statistics identify drowning as the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities, and that 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

That’s why Governor Laura Kelly – in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks – is proclaiming May 21-27 as Safe Boating Week in Kansas. See the full proclamation at

“I encourage every Kansan to get outdoors this boating season to enjoy the wonderful natural resources our state has to offer, but please do so safely,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Wear a life jacket, be cautious of your surroundings, and let’s keep Kansas waters safe for all.”

Thanks to recent developments in personal floatation device (PFD) design, newer life jackets styles are more comfortable, lightweight, and stylish than ever. Innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allow greater mobility and flexibility, and are much cooler in warmer weather. For help in selecting a proper-fitting life jacket, simply visit

It’s important to know that Kansas boating statute requires every vessel to carry at least one USCG-approved life jacket for each person on board or being towed. And, that children 12 years of age or younger are required to wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while on board or being towed by a vessel, even while anchored.

For more on safe boating practices, including finding a Boating Education Course nearest you, visit and

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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