SIDNEY — A day on the Great Miami River—even if you are in a canoe or kayak—can turn deadly in a matter of seconds. But wearing your life jacket can make all the difference.
National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27. Boating advocates say wearing your life jacket is like wearing a seatbelt – it can save your life.
“Wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to stay alive when things go wrong on the water,” says Mike Miller, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft. “If an accident occurs and people suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will keep their heads above water and could save a life. Don’t just have your life jacket close by, wear it!”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2014. And 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
Life jackets today are more comfortable than the bulky orange ones of the past. Today’s life jackets are lighter and more stylish. You can even buy inflatable life jackets that activate when they hit the water. They’re great for fishing, paddling and hunting and are cooler in warm weather.
The Miami Conservancy District is promoting Safe Boating Week’s “Wear It!” campaign to remind boaters not only to wear a life jacket but to boat sober, know navigational rules, and be familiar with the river you’re paddling.
Get more tips on to how enjoy and stay safe on the Great Miami, Stillwater, and Mad rivers at mcdwater.org. Learn more about the “Wear It” campaign at safeboatingcampaign.com.
Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and Canadian Safe Boating Council with the National Safe Boating Council. It is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.