Summer is right around the corner and it is time for the Naval Safety Command (NAVSAFECOM) annual “101 Critical Days of Summer” safety campaign. Summer is the longest vacation period of the year, and mishaps, as well as associated fatalities, have historically spiked during this time. It is crucial for all Department of the Navy personnel to maintain an active risk management mindset and ensure this summer is a safe one. This year, the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign runs from May 30 through Sept. 5.
By educating the naval enterprise on common summertime mishap trends as well as the decisions and behaviors that typically lead to these mishaps, the NAVSAFECOM provides Sailors and Marines with tools and information to make better choices and ultimately, reduce the likelihood of mishaps, injuries, or worse – loss of life.
“The loss of even one Sailor or Marine is too many. We want Sailors and Marines to know and understand the risks involved with any off-duty activity, whether that’s swimming in the ocean or traveling by car to visit family, and use that information to make sound decisions and better mitigate those risks,” said Rear Adm. F. R. Luchtman, Commander, Naval Safety Command.
“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. Maintaining a strong safety culture and ensuring our Sailors and Marines remain alive and healthy – both physically and mentally, is our top priority and is critical to ensuring our naval enterprise operates at peak readiness,” said Luchtman.
During the 2021 101 Critical Days of Summer, the Navy and Marine Corps lost 24 Sailors and Marines from off-duty fatalities. Another two service members experienced mishaps resulting in a permanent disability. Similar to fiscal years 2017-2020, motor vehicle mishaps, both motorcycle and four-wheel vehicles, were the primary cause of summer fatalities in 2021.
NAVSAFECOM data indicated a general lack of situational awareness and complacency as the root cause of numerous off-duty mishaps last year. By increasing situational and self-awareness, Sailors and Marines can avoid or reduce the severity of mishaps.
The majority of off-duty, recreational mishaps are entirely preventable. These mishaps can be avoided if service members perform a reasonable risk assessment and comply with laws, procedures or recommended best practices when engaging in any activity.
“We encourage everyone to take some time off and spend it with family and friends, or to get outside and enjoy themselves. That time off can be key in maintaining resiliency and staying healthy, and we want you to do it safely,” said NAVSAFECOM Command Master Chief, CMDCM(SW/AW/IW) Jimmy Hailey. “The 101 Critical Days of Summer safety campaign provides a lot of good information and tips to help keep you, your family, and your friends safe. No matter the activity - biking, driving, grilling with friends, or going on a road trip, it falls on all of us to understand the risks involved in whatever we’re doing and apply best practices and common sense. We don’t want to lose any more Sailors and Marines in needless and preventable mishaps.”
Throughout the summer campaign, NAVSAFECOM will promote and disseminate various media and training products to inform the Naval Enterprise on common risks associated with summertime activities, including 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 Command’s website, https://navalsafetycommand.navy.mil