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Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel Honored with 2024 Silver Schooner Award by NSBC

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), renowned for its commitment to promoting recreational boating safety nationwide, bestowed upon Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel the prestigious 2024 Silver Schooner Award. The ceremony took place at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit held in Albuquerque, N.M. on April 11.


Peg Phillips, the executive director of the NSBC, noted how Twiggy’s unique performances serve as an engaging platform to educate families about boating safety. She lauded the Best family for their enduring collaboration with the council, emphasizing their efforts to bolster boating safety initiatives across the country.


In 1978, Chuck and Lou Ann Best’s chance encounter with a squirrel during a rainstorm set the stage for Twiggy’s unique trajectory. Chuck’s whimsical response to teasing from friends led to the birth of Twiggy “the Water Skiing Squirrel” and an enduring legacy.


Despite tragedy striking in 1997 with Chuck’s untimely passing in a boating accident, Lou Ann forged ahead, integrating water safety into Twiggy’s performances. Today, Chuck Best Jr. and his fiancé carry on his parents’ work, captivating a new generation of Twiggy fans while championing water safety initiatives.


Twiggy’s role as a mascot for the National Safe Boating Council’s Safe Boating Campaign underscores the relationship between entertainment and education in the effort to emphasize the importance of responsible boating practices and the necessity of wearing life jackets while on the water.

Established by the United Safe Boating Institute (USBI), the Silver Schooner Award honors  individuals, organizations and entities for their significant contributions to boating safety. Twiggy’s journey, from rescued squirrel to international sensation, epitomizes the spirit of the accolade.

For more information on Twiggy and the Safe Boating Campaign, visit

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