Fun on the Water and Safety on the Mind

Family boating

We often spend a good amount of time planning for the perfect family vacation. But how much thought do we give to keeping our families safe while we are having fun and making memories?

As the Summer winds down, many us will be taking vacations or day trips before the kids go back to school. If your vacation involves water and boats, it’s especially important to keep safety in mind.

Do you know the percentage of boating accident victims who drown because they are not wearing a life jacket?

Watch this video for the answer. You’ll be surprised!

While wearing a life jacket may seem like an encumbrance or an inconvenience, it is a small thing when compared to the devastation that a drowning would bring to a family.

There’s no excuse not to wear a life jacket on the water!

Life jackets are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Many are thin and flexible. Some are built right into fishing vests or hunter coats. Others are inflatable as compact as a scarf or fanny pack until they hit water, when they automatically fill with air.

Things to Know:

  • The best life jacket is the one you will wear.
  • Certain life jackets are designed to keep your head above water and help you remain in a position that permits proper breathing.
  • Some styles of life jackets are not intended for weak or non-swimmers (read the label and be honest).
  • To meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, a recreational vessel must have a U.S. Coast Guard Approved life jacket for each person aboard.
  • Life jacket wear regulations for children may vary by state.
  • Adult-sized life jackets may not work for children. Child size life jackets are available.
  • When worn correctly a foam filled life jacket will fit snugly, and will not allow the life jacket to rise above the wearer’s chin or ears.
  • Foam filled life jackets should be tested for wear and buoyancy at least once a year. Waterlogged, faded, or otherwise damaged life jackets should be discarded.
  • Inflatable life jackets should be maintained per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Most adults only need 7 to 12 pounds of buoyancy (31 to 53 Newton) to keep their heads above water.

How Do Life Jackets Save Lives?

  • By providing buoyancy if you unexpectedly find yourself in the water.
  • By providing buoyancy if you purposely jump into the water to save someone else.
  • By providing buoyancy when you are no longer able to keep yourself afloat due to fatigue, injury, or cold.
  • By providing buoyancy if you are a weak or non-swimmer.

Learn more about responsible boating from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Learn more about keeping yourself and your family safe by joining American Contingency, where you’ll find community-minded Americans who work together to be self-reliant, resilient and prepared for any contingency.

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