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Essentials for Boating Safety

There are many essential aspects of boating safety. It is important to have your boat in good working order before leaving the dock, and it is equally as important to have the right equipment essential to keeping you and your passengers safe on the water.

The right equipment, in good working order, and using that equipment properly will not only keep you and your passengers safe but guarantee a great boating experience.

According to www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com and their "Life Jacket Facts," statistics prove that even if life jackets were not a legal requirement for safety, they should be one of your first considerations for your vessel.

  • U.S. Coast Guard's 2006 statistics stated that approximately 87 percent of boaters who drowned were not wearing life jackets. This means that over 400 boaters died unexpectedly because they were uninformed or simply not in the habit of taking this significant safety precaution.
  • It is human nature to think it can't happen to me - but it can.
  • The majority of people who drown in boating accidents know how to swim, but become incapacitated in the water. Sometimes they are injured or unconscious. Others develop hypothermia or become exhausted.  Some are weighed down by clothing.
  • An accident usually happens without warning.  Usually, after the accident, the life jackets are not within reach - in cabinets, trapped under the vessel or floating far away in the water.
  • Other reasons why people don't wear a life jacket are that it is too hot, or it will mess up their tan line, or they are simply not comfortable.
  • Many people don't realize the variety of new life jackets that are on the market - belt packs and other inflatable styles that are low profile and lightweight.
  • It is important to wear a life jacket at all times when boating

Are you aware of these?

  • U.S. Coast Guard requirements state that a boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person aboard
  • Boats 16 feet and over must have at least one Type IV throwable device as well.
  • All states have regulations regarding life jacket wear by children and adult-sized life jackets will not work for children.
  • Life jackets should be tested for wear and buoyancy at least once each year. Waterlogged, faded, or leaky jackets should be discarded.  

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