Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Boating Safety Partners Encourage Boaters to Celebrate Independence With Life Jacket Wear on the Water

/PRNewswire/ -- Independence Day weekend is one of the heaviest traffic times of the summer travel season, and the water is no exception. Just as seatbelt wear is a natural part of driving to your celebration destination, routine and consistent life jacket wear should also be a part of all water activities during the holiday and the rest of summer boating season.

Independence Day weekend is one of the top times for boating accidents. By making sure everyone on a boat ride takes advantage of a life jacket by choosing to "Wear It!," boaters can take the No. 1 step toward greater water safety, according to the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC).

"Boating is a big part of Independence Day celebrations," said Virgil Chambers, Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council. "There's no reason why everyone can't have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket. Because the weekend of the Fourth may be one of the only times some people get on a boat the entire summer, every boat operator needs to remember to share the 'Wear It!' message."

Approximately 90 percent of recreational boating drowning victims weren't wearing a life jacket. Fortunately, life jacket wear is easy and convenient with a range of today's comfortable, stylish styles.

"A life jacket's not going to do any good unless you're wearing it," Chambers said. "But the bulky styles that may have discouraged life jacket wear in the past have been replaced by superior options that both feel and look good. It's especially important for novice boaters who are planning to take to the water this Independence Day holiday to be prepared: Do like other smart boaters and 'Wear It!'"

Life jacket wear by every boater is the leading goal of the North American Safe Boating Campaign, which kicked off officially with National Safe Boating Week, May 16 - 22. The North American Safe Boating Campaign unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the many members of the National Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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