The American Boating Association reminds us that every member of your crew should have a U.S. Coast Guard Approved Personal Flotation Device. Did you know that of the 534 recreational boating drowning deaths back in 2020, the US Coast Guard approximates that 450 victims (84%) were not wearing a life jacket.
Here are some tips regarding the care and use of these all-important PFDs:
- Buy your own life jacket and wear it. One size does not fit all.
- Look at the label for size and weight limitations.
- Try it on and check the fit. With straps and buckles secured, the life jacket should not slip over your head or cover your eyes.
- Make sure the life jacket is Coast Guard approved.
- Replace your life jacket if you find air leakage, mildew or rot.
- Never alter a life jacket. It could lose its effectiveness.
- Check your life jackets yearly for flotation and fit.
- Wear a life jacket to set an example for younger children while increasing your chances of survival.