Don’t miss the Dance

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2005

The star of Outdoor Life Network (OLN) TV series &uot;Bill Dance Outdoors&uot;, Bill Dance is one of the most recognizable names in fishing. Watch just 10 minutes of his show and you will quickly gain an appreciation for his humor and the knowledge about the sport, the history and the pure enjoyment of &uot;landing the big one.&uot; He is one of America’s great sporting experiences, not only because he is incredibly knowledgeable, but his approach is almost like you’re a long time friend. Even someone like myself who is not a serious &uot;fishermen&uot; enjoys his approach to life – he just looks like he is having a ball!

Recently the Coast Guard announced that Dance, who is a member of the International Fishing Hall of Fame and a 23-time National Bass Title winner has made another contribution to the sport. He has teamed with the Coast Guard for their &uot;You’re In Command. Boat Responsibly!&uot; safety campaign to promote safety on the water including the use of life jackets, and proper safety equipment. This was a great &uot;get&uot; for the Coast Guard as Dance is recognized all over the country.

Starting last week, readers could see Dance’s likeness or hear his voice as part of this national campaign’s Public Service Announcements, also called PSAs, promoting boating safety. According to John Malatak, Chief Program Operations Division, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety, in an article from the service’s Boating Safety newsletter July 2005 &uot;Waypoints,&uot; &uot;Dance will appear in a 30-second PSA to be distributed to television stations across the country, as well as participate in interviews for the most popular syndicated sports shows on radio.&uot;

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Added Malatak, &uot;Our media outreach featuring Bill Dance was designed to introduce the second phase of the ‘You’re in Command. Boat Responsibly!’ initiative, which targets one of the most highest at-risk groups for boating fatalities: hunters and anglers.&uot;

Dance’s participation in the Coast Guard’s outreach program adds another nationally-recognized name to a wonderful roster of those advocating safe boating. Included in the group, who have volunteered their time such as TV star John Amos, who most recently starred as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on my favorite TV show, &uot;The West Wing,&uot; or another name that our Suffolk readers, especially those who follow NASCAR would recognize – The Labonte Family. Add to that group Olympic medallist Rebecca Giddens. This line-up is truly impressive!

So readers, as your driving down the highway, with your boat safely secured in your trailer, if

Bill Dance’s voice comes on promoting boating safety give it a listen – he’ll be talking about things that make boating more safe – and maybe someday could save your life.

Until next week – Boat Safe and Boat Smart!!!

Joe DiRenzo, a Suffolk resident, is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. Reach him at