Personal Flotation Devices - what you don't wear may hurt you.
Sailing, fishing, kayaking, water skiing—summer is still here, and the last big summer holiday, Labor Day, is right around the corner (and in a few weeks, it’ll be time for some fall fishing!). Many of us—and thousands of visitors—hit our waterways every year with big plans for fun in the sun. The river and the bay, beaches and bayous, our beautiful harbor, the seawall and fishing piers—water is all around us, and we sure know how to enjoy it.
In fact, we’re so used to being around water we don’t think twice about taking a quick boat ride with friends or going on a last minute all-day fishing trip. And some of us don’t think twice about having a few “cold ones” to quench our thirst while we fish or sail.
Station House BSL
Did you know that 80% of boating deaths could have been prevented if a life jacket, or “PFD” (personal flotation device) had been worn?
Yes, 8 out of 10 deaths, preventable by simply wearing a life jacket. That’s a statistic that’s hard to argue with, yet we use every excuse imaginable for not wearing one: “They’re uncomfortable,” “They’re hot,” “I grew up on the water; I can swim like a fish.” Sorry, no excuses accepted. PFD’s have come a long way. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some are even like collars instead of a jacket.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts that can help keep your time on the water safe and enjoyable:
- DO wear a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket)!
- DON’T BUI (Boat Under the Influence): it is deadly, and illegal. Agree to a designated driver before you leave the dock or when you plan your trip. It just might save the lives of everyone in the boat.
- DO let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return; monitor the weather.
- DON’T swim or boat alone. It just isn’t safe. Another person to help, or to get help, could save a life.
- DO teach kids to respect the water and make them follow safety practices. There’s rarely a second chance out on the water.