Manassas, VA (August 29, 2016) – Labor Day may mark the unofficial end to the summer boating season, but boaters will continue to get out on the water throughout the year, putting themselves in potential danger if they don’t use common sense precautions.
The National Safe Boating Council, a lead organization of the North American Safe Boating Campaign, encourages boaters to be responsible at all times while on the water. That includes wearing a life jacket.
“Boating is a favorite past time for millions of people throughout North America,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “However, boating safety often comes second to having a good time with family and friends and can lead to tragic consequences.”
In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Where cause of death was known, 85 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.
Life jackets are designed for a boater’s recreational water activity – from inflatable belt-packs for standup paddleboarders to form-fitting vests for PWC riders. Inflatable life jackets provide buoyancy when inflated by a CO2 cylinder, and inherently buoyant life jackets use foam or other buoyant materials to stay afloat.
“Once you find the right U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for your activity, try it on! A snug fit is a proper fit,” continued Johnson. “Your life jacket is the most important piece of boating safety gear, so be sure to always Wear It!”
Other essential boating gear includes visual distress signals, sound producing devices, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or personal locator beacon (PLB), fire extinguishers, navigation lights, and water to stay hydrated. Boaters should always leave a float plan with at least one person on land so they know where to find them if needed. Learn more about boating safety at safeboatingcampaign.com.
Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates and is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow Wear It! on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/safeboatcampaign and twitter.com/boatingcampaign.
Media Contact: Yvonne Pentz, Paul Werth Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org, (877) 577-0017