While many think that they are too cool for school and that life jackets are cramping their style, The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) is trying to show that safety while on the water is something that should be taken seriously. This week (May 19-26) is National Safe Boating week and the NSBC is making sure that boaters across the land are aware of the dangers associated with not wearing a life jacket.
According to wearalifejacket.com, there are 1,000 boating deaths a year in North America and that in a whopping 90% of these deaths the victim was not wearing a life jacket. That is a stunning statistic and one that could be improved by simply wearing a life jacket.
While a lot of people think of the bulky orange life jackets that have been around forever, technology has made it so that boaters don’t have to deal with bulky, hot and less effective life jackets anymore.
The most effective way to have the safety that a life jacket brings, with the style and comfort that boaters want is by wearing an inflatable life jacket. These life jackets are light weight, comfortable and offer a range in motion that people never used to associate with wearing a life jacket. Most of the time deflated, the only time that it will inflate is when you need it to. The two most common types are automatic and manual. When an automatic inflatable life jacket is submerged in water, the life jacket will inflate without you moving a muscle, while their manual counterparts simply inflate when a cord is pulled. Either way, the only time you will have to carry around the extra bulk is when you absolutely need it, leaving you hardly even noticing a life saving device is on you for the lion’s share of your boating experience. The main downside of these being that they’re not rated for water sport use by the Coast Guard.
Other options are general purpose, economy life jackets. These are still a great option due to their low price, ease of use and great flotation capabilities, however they can be bulky and a little bit inconvenient to somebody who is not used to wearing one. If you’re planning on doing any water sports or just feel like a more comfortable and sporty vest, a ski vest will be a nice compromise between the inflatable and economy options. Although more bulky and restrictive than inflatables, these are more comfortable than the economy option at a still reasonable price.
None of these will do you any good without making sure that the life jacket fits properly. An ill fitting life jacket can be just as dangerous as none at all.
Have a great start to your boating season and make sure that you stay safe while on the water and recognize National Safe Boating Week. Make sure to check out our entire line of life jackets at Savvyboater.com to make sure you’re staying safe this summer. Happy Boating!