Summer is almost upon us and it is, once again, time for the Naval Safety Center’s (NAVSAFECEN) annual 101 Critical Days of Summer safety campaign. Summer is the longest vacation period of the year. As the restrictions of COVID-19 begin to relax across the globe in compliance with country, state and military base guidelines, there will be an increase in people who are out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, swimming, boating, playing and traveling.
“There is no doubt the past year has been hard as COVID-19 forced us to adapt to a new way of life as we continued to meet our operational commitments across the Navy and Marine Corps during a global pandemic,” said RDML F. R. Luchtman, Commander, Naval Safety Center.
While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s crucial that we maintain our resiliency and Warrior Toughness. Warrior Toughness refers to the ability to: 1) Fight after sustaining a hit; 2) Perform under pressure; and 3) Endure the long slow grind.
“As we get closer to summer, it’s critical that we acknowledge the ways we have been affected by the pandemic. We want everyone to get out and enjoy their summer, but we also want you to stay safe, and make good decisions while engaging in summer activities,” said Luchtman.
The 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign provides critical information to raise awareness and assist in mitigating the risks associated with the most common off-duty mishaps. The campaign launches at the start of Memorial Weekend and runs through the end of Labor Day weekend. During this time, the Navy and Marine Corps mishap and fatality rates have historically spiked. Each year from fiscal years (FY) 2016 - 2020, the Department of the Navy (DON) lost an average of five Sailors and nine Marines in off-duty mishaps.
Between May 22 and Sept. 15 of last year, the Navy and Marine Corps experienced nine fatalities – two from private motor vehicles, two motorcycle fatalities, one drowning mishap and one light civil aircraft crash. Three service members also lost their lives in pedestrian-related mishaps.
The campaign’s goal is to ensure Sailors and Marines are aware of the risks associated with summertime activities and take appropriate precautions to minimize those risks while on and off duty.
“Mishaps are typically more common as the weather gets warmer,” said NAVSAFECEN Command Master Chief, CMDCM(SW/AW/IW) Jimmy Hailey. “Therefore, it is especially important to emphasize safety as we enter into the summer months. Providing this safety information will enable our Sailors to make better-educated choices and decisions when engaging in summer-related activities this year.”
Throughout the summer campaign, NAVSAFECEN will promote and disseminate a variety of media and training products to inform the Naval Enterprise on common risks associated with summertime activities to include a comprehensive 101 Critical Days of Summer presentation, downloadable posters and tip sheets and articles via its social media channels and official website.
For additional resources on safety awareness, visit the Naval Safety Center’s website, https://navalsafetycenter.navy.mil.