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Posted 11/14/2012

Release no. 12-087

Erica Robbins


Annie Chambers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers promotes water safety during NASCAR Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District and its Bobber the Water Safety Dog mascot will team up with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race drivers and Bass Pro Shops to promote water safety Nov. 16 prior to the 8 p.m. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Water safety is an extremely important mission for us,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Greco, deputy district commander for south Florida. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s leading provider of outdoor recreation with over 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and nearly 370 million visitors per year.”

The Corps will provide water safety information and show a variety of life jackets at the USACE display during the event. The Army Corps of Engineers water safety theme for the racing season is, “Just like your favorite drivers wear their protective gear when they are racing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants you to wear your gear (your life jacket) when you are on our nation’s waterways.”

The black # 07 truck will promote water safety with a hood decal featuring Bobber the Water Safety Dog wearing a safety orange life jacket and including his website, www.Bobber.info. The Corps will host autograph signings with race drivers of the #07 truck at the USACE water safety display at Homestead-Miami Speedway Fri., Nov. 16. Visit the Corps display to find out when drivers will be signing autographs and greeting race fans.

The Corps and Bass Pro Shops in Miami also partnered to promote water safety at the NASCAR event and encourage race fans to “Wear Your Gear.” Bass Pro Shops in Miami donated a state-of-the-art auto-inflatable life jacket which will be signed by NASCAR drivers and their teams, and raffled off just before driver introductions early Friday evening.

“The new generation of life jackets is extremely comfortable and easy to wear,” said Adam Tarplee, USACE natural resource program manager. “We’re using this raffle to introduce race fans to the new adult life vests, in case they have not worn them yet. They are available in both belt pack and suspender styles, and some are available in camouflage prints for use by hunters. Whatever style suits you, we encourage you to ‘Wear Your Gear.’”

The Bass Pro Shops life jacket being raffled off fits adults over 80 lbs. with up to a 52-inch chest and is U.S. Coast Guard approved. It auto-inflates when the life vest is immersed in water or when the back-up handle is pulled. It has a comfortable, lightweight, low-profile design and reflective piping. Check out the auto-inflatable life vest being raffled off at:

To register for the drawing, look for Bobber the Water Safety Dog in the crowd or sign up at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water safety display on Fri., Nov. 16 before 3 p.m.

“Visitor safety at USACE parks and recreation areas is our highest priority,” said Rick Pelzl, supervisory park ranger. “Our park rangers, volunteers and partners continuously promote water and boater safety and education. Having a booth during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Homestead is another incredible opportunity for our rangers and volunteers to talk about water safety with race fans, many of whom are also great fishermen and outdoorsmen as well.”

“We want to remind boaters to always wear their gear,” said Tarplee. “Most people who drown never had any intention of being in the water, so we encourage boaters to expect the unexpected and always wear a life jacket. One-third of all freshwater fishing in the U.S. occurs on Corps’ rivers and lakes, and we want everyone to be safe while they are having fun on the water.”

Please share photos of your family and friends at the Corps display, meeting Bobber the Water Safety Dog or enjoying any of our recreation areas by sending them to PublicMail.CESAJ-CC@usace.army.mil. You might just see them on our Facebook page!

Tweet about the good times you have had with the Corps and Bobber the Water Safety Dog at the Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway or at Corps recreation areas using hashtags #NASCAR #StLucie, #Ortona, #WPFranklin, #watersafety or #USACE, and don’t forget to mention @homesteadmiami or @jaxstrong.


auto-inflatable life vest Bass Pro Shops Bobber Bobber the Water Safety Dog Camping World Truck Series Homestead-Miami Speedway Jacksonville District life vest NASCAR U.S. Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District USACE water safetly Wear Your Gear