When people talk about boating safety, there is often a common theme that runs through each discussion: Always wear your […]
When people talk about boating safety, there is often a common theme that runs through each discussion: Always wear your life jacket.
Why is this? It’s been proven time and time again that wearing life jacket while boating can significantly increase your rate of survival should something unexpected happen.
A life jacket doesn’t just dramatically increase your chances for survival, it also buys you time – falling into the water without a life jacket requires you to exert energy to keep yourself afloat while you await assistance. Wearing a life jacket nearly eliminates expending that energy, as it does the work for you.
If you are boating with a child, the best advice is to always have them wear a life jacket.
Here are some additional reminders about life jackets:
- Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
- Double check that your life jacket is appropriate for your favorite water activities. Read the label!
- Take the time to ensure a proper fit. A life jacket that is too large or too small can cause different situational problems.
- Check your life jacket is in good serviceable condition, with no tears or holes. Test to make sure it works properly.
- Life jackets meant for adult sized people do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets based on their weight. Do not buy a life jacket for your child to ‘grow into.’
“If you’re going to be boating, always wear your lifejacket and require the same of all your passengers,” said Joe Carro, a Coast Guard boating safety specialist. “Life jackets save lives.”