Excuses for not wearing a life jacket when boating abound.
“It’s too hot! It doesn’t look cool. I know how to swim. Nothing is going to happen to me.”
Approximately 700 people drown in the United States each year from recreational boating accidents. The vast majority of those drowning victims probably used one of these excuses.
During North American Safe Boating Week (May 18-24) and throughout the boating season, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) remind boaters to WEAR IT! and be alert and aware while on the water.
“Most, if not all, drownings can be prevented by wearing a life jacket,” said Indiana Conservation Officer Lt. Bill Browne. “If we can keep people’s head above water we can prevent drownings. Wearing a life jacket is the only prevention measure that is foolproof.”
Conservation officers are also urging people to boat sober, and plan for a designated boat driver if alcohol will be on board. Conservation officers arrested 337 people in 2012 for operating a motorboat while intoxicated.
Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources