In just a few short weeks many families may be looking forward to some time on the water – boating, fishing, or just relaxing in the sun. And while The National Safe Boating Council’s Wear It! campaign’s new public service announcement, “Love the Life -WEAR IT!” offers a simple reminder that you can still have fun on the water while choosing to always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly, unfortunately, too often both experienced and inexperienced boaters have a false sense of security and don’t wear life jackets.
And the sobering facts are U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in almost three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities, and that 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
The National Safe Boating Council will kick off its national Wear It! campaign promoting safe boating and life jacket safety with National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 17-23, and the campaign continues throughout the summer.
The truth is it’s tempting not to wear a life jacket while fishing or boating, especially on nice days. You want to get some sun, or you think you’ll get too hot. But whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, you can have a great time, even when wearing a life jacket.
According to the North American Safe Boating Campaign life jackets are the simplest life-saving strategy for safe boating. Unfortunately, too often both experienced and inexperienced boaters have a false sense of security and don’t wear life jackets. It’s important for everyone to always wear a life jacket while boating. Wear It identified the top 5 excuses people admit to saying to not wear a life jacket.
Consider if you have said one of these 5 phrases and WHY you can’t use them anymore!
1. “I have life jackets on board.” Having life jackets on board the vessel is not enough; best to wear it all times to be safe.
2. “I’m a strong swimmer.” Even a strong swimmer needs to wear a life jacket. During an emergency situation, clothing can become heavy or waterlogged while in the water.
3. “It’s too hot and doesn’t look cool.” Life jackets don’t even have to be â€˜jackets’ anymore. Old-fashioned, bulky orange life jackets have been replaced with new varieties of life jackets, like inflatable life jackets that may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. These new styles are much cooler in the warmer weather and many inflate automatically when immersed in water.
4. “It gets in the way.” There are life jacket styles available for almost any recreational water activity – fishing, water sports, hunting, paddling and more. And, many fishing vests have life jackets built in. There are even styles for pets!
5. “Nothing is going to happen to me.” Face it, accidents happen. Boating can be a fun and enjoyable activity and safe at the same time.
If you have said any of these phrases, take a moment to reconsider wearing that life jacket at all times. Boating responsibly and wearing a life jacket can help keep you and your loved ones safe, while still enjoying a great day on the water. In most cases, parents will ensure their children are wearing life jackets, but feel they themselves don’t really need one. Consider the rules we hear every time we fly. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first so you can help your friend or loved one. The same is true for life jackets ( check out their extensive information on how to choose the right one here. ) You can’t save your child if you don’t save yourself first. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket.
For more information about boating safety and life jacket wear, follow Wear It! on Twitter at and Like at them at SafeBoatCampaign on Facebook Follow them on Pinterest and Instagram and Share your boating story at SafeBoatingCampaign.com!
This post is part of a sponsored conversation with the The National Safe Boating Council but as is always the case all opinions are my own.