For many boat owners in this region, Labor Day weekend is “the last blast”, the final three day weekend of summer with a high chance of favorable weather. Many will most likely be enjoying this end-of-summer boating ritual with family and friends aboard. Due to various pandemic-related reasons, the Boat Owners Association of the US has warned that increased boating traffic and complacency could be safety concerns. July 4th, Memorial Day, and Labor Day are the first, second, and third weekends of the year in terms of volume of boater requests for towing assistance services. The Association’s Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner asks these questions of preparedness: Do you know where your flares are? Are your life jackets servicable? Is your throwable personal flotation device within easy reach at the helm? Are all of your navigation lights still working? Have your boat trailer safety chains been dragging on pavement, therefore compromised? And are your trailer brake lights still operable? Sensenbrenner also comments, “At this time of year complacency can set in. You’ve had a safe boating season up to now, but don’t let your guard down just yet.” With a few days yet before the big weekend, now would be a good time to safety check your vessel and equipment.