Using your boat this week? Grab a life jacket and “Wear It!” Accidents happen too fast on the water to reach for stowed life jackets. Most boating fatalities are drownings – and 90 percent of those who drown while boating are not wearing a life jacket. Now new styles are available – comfortable, lightweight, and perfect for any boating activity or sport.
May 17-23 is National Safe Boating Week. Celebrate by wearing your life jacket at all times while boating. Ask your friends and family to do the same?
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIFE JACKET
Looking for a life jacket? Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and
materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for YOU, your planned
activities, and the water conditions you expect to encounter.
Try It On
- Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
- Make sure the jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
- Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up.
- If there is excess room above the openings and the jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.
- It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jacket.
- Jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous.
- Jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat.
- Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
- Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
- Take the time to ensure a proper fit.
- Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.
Watch Georgia Outdoors: Boating