Personal watercraft manufacturers launched a program that will allow members of Congress to apply for a PWC to be loaned to public safety agencies in their congressional districts.
The Congressional PWC Loan Program is backed by members of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA): American Honda Motor Company, Inc.; BRP U.S. Inc.; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
“At a time when tight local budgets might make it difficult to allocate resources for the purchase of a patrol or rescue boat, the PWC Loan Program will be helpful to an agency or organization in your congressional district,” Representatives E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL) and Gene Taylor (D-MS) wrote in a letter that was delivered to the members of the Congressional Boating Caucus. Shaw and Taylor are co-Chairs of the caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.
While the Congressional PWC Loan Program is new, the PWIA’s loan program is not. Since 1989, approximately 15,000 vessels have been loaned through manufacturers and their local dealerships to law enforcement, fire and rescue, and marine mammal research organizations across America. If calculated at the 2003 average retail price of $8,890 per vessel, manufacturers’ investment in this program has exceeded $133 million.
“Our industry is fully committed to boating safety and we are enhancing our loan program to involve congressional representatives because PWC have become more popular in the last several years as an increasing number of officials across the country use them for patrolling, search and rescue, and even to research and rescue dolphin and manatee,” said Maureen Healey, Executive Director of the PWIA. Healey said she hopes the new program allows more public safety agencies across the country to become aware of, and apply to obtain, PWC.
A typical loan period is one year. Large, three-person units account for more than 75% of the retail market, and are typically the type used in the loan program.
In related news, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)and several hundred executives from the recreational boating industry are scheduled to attend the American Boating Congress in Washington, DC on May 1-3, 2005.
Designed to educate attendees on the legislative and regulatory issues facing the boating industry, the three-day event brings the executives from NMMA member companies to Capitol Hill to discuss important issues facing the industry and to meet with their members of Congress to better educate them on those particular issues.
The event will feature Congressional, executive branch, and other expert speakers, industry awards and congressional visits.
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