National Safe Boating encourages all boaters to "Wear it!" Your life jacket could save your life.
This article brought to us courtesy of the American Canoe Association in Fredericksburg. Check out their site for more tips on boating safety, summer fun and excursions.
There are so many life jackets on the market now. How can boaters be sure that they are choosing the right one?
Boaters have many options when it comes to today's life jackets. This new inflatable versions and belt packs that offer a complete range of movement. There are even life jackets customized for hunting, angling, high impact water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding, and riding personal watercraft.
There are no excuses for not wearing a life jacket.
What is the number one cause of death in recreational boating accidents?
Drowning remains the number one cause of death in recreational boating accidents. In 2008, over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned and of those, 90% were not wearing a life jacket. Many lives can be saved each year if boaters remember to wear their life jacket.
Life Jackets and the Law
What are the laws about life jacket wear?
For adults, life jacket wear is voluntary. There needs to be a U.S Coast Guard approved life jacket for everyone on board. Federal regulation require that on a recreational vessel underway, children under 13 must wear an appropriate USCG approved life jacket, unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin. Within a state's waters, if that state has established a child life jacket wear requirement, that state's requirement applies.
Campaign for Children
Does the Campaign offer children's resources? Yes!
The Campaign features the boating safety website "Sidekicks" which provides activities geared toward boating safety with an emphasis on life jacket wear. Since children are educated and influenced by what they learn and what others do, these activities are a great way to get children involved in boating safety.
Life Jacket Fit
What should I consider when choosing a life jacket?
It's important to choose a properly fitted life jacket. Check the manufacturers' ratings for size and weight, and make sure it's U.S Coast Guard approved. They style of the jacket should be appropriate for your favorite boating activities.