Life jackets save lives
Wearing a life jacket while boating is as important as wearing a seat belt while driving in a car or wearing a helmet while riding your bike or motorcycle. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Statistics, drowning was the leading cause of death in nearly 3/4 of boating related fatalities and 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
Although the state requires children to wear a life jacket, adults are encouraged to wear one. Adults should set a good example for children by wearing their life jackets.
Remember: life jacket wear doesn't only apply to children – anyone can drown regardless of how old they are and if they consider themselves to be a strong swimmer.
- Intended for those going out in open water where quick rescues may be
- Most buoyant; can turn someone who is unconscious face-up.
- Intended for calm, inland water where there is a good chance for quick
- Intended for calm, inland water where there is a good chance of fast
- Generally will not turn an unconscious user face up.
- Activities: fishing, hunting canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding
and other inland water tow sports.
- Intended to be thrown to someone overboard.
- Of little use to unconscious or exhausted swimmers.
- Not recommended for children or nonswimmers.
- Hydrostatic (inflates automatically upon immersion or when manually
- Manual (only inlfates when manually activated).
- Belt Pack (worn on our waist. Only inflates when manually activated; must
be placed over head once activated.
- Inflatable life jackets requires maintenance and replacing the CO2
cartridge after each use. Not allowed for use or wear by children under 16
years of age; some inflatable life jackets are not approved for certain
activities. Always check the label for directions and requirements.
One half of recreational boating fatalities happen on calm water. In most incidences, life jackets were on the boat but were not worn.
- The right life jacket is comfortable enough that you'll always wear it. The fit
is snug, but not too tight. The type depends on the type of activity. You'll
find the necessary information on the manufacturer's label.
- It needs to help keep your head above the water. If it's too big, the life
jacket will ride up around your face. Too small and it won't be able o keep
your body afloat.
- Life jackets made for adults will not fit children.
Make sure to try it on and do the following:
- Check the label and make sure it's a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life
- Check the label and the manufacturers ratings to make sure that it fits your
size and weight.
- Make sure the life jacket can properly fasten/buckle up.
- Check the fit.
- Hold your arms straight up over your head.
- Have a friend or family member grasp the tops of the arm openings
and slowly pull up.
- Make sure there is no excess room and that the jacket doesn't ride up
over your chin.
- Test it. Take it in shallow water under safe and supervised
conditions. This way you will know how it will feel when needed. Do the
same for family members, especially children.
It's the Law All vessels (including canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle board) must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket (PFD) for each person on the boat. In addition to that requirement, one:
- Coast Guard-approved throwable flotation device must on board vessels
16 feet or longer. Canoes and kayaks are exempt from this requirement.
- Children 12 years old and younger must wear a Coast Guard-approved life
jacket at all times when underway in a vessel less than 19 feet in length,
unless in a fully enclosed area.
- Each person on board a personal watercraft (PWC) and anyone being
towed behind a boat must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket