It’s tempting not to wear a life jacket while on the water, especially on nice days. You want to get some sun, you think you’ll get too hot, or you think you’re a strong swimmer. But whether you’re going fishing or just enjoying a ride on the boat, there’s never an excuse not to wear a life jacket. You can have a great time, while choosing to always wear a life jacket and boating responsibly.
At the National Safe Boating Council, we believe life jacket wear is the simplest strategy to stay safe while enjoying your favorite recreational water activity. According to recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, drowning was the reported cause of death in 80 percent of all boating fatalities in 2016 (four out of every five people drowned). Of those, 83 percent were reported as not wearing their life jackets.
The North American Safe Boating Campaign is a yearlong effort in the U.S. and Canada focused on spreading the message of boating safety and the critical importance of always wearing a life jacket each and every time on the water. In addition, the campaign also reminds boaters of the importance of boating safely, such as taking a boating safety course, never boating under the influence, and knowing navigational rules. The annual campaign kicks off the weekend before Memorial Day with National Safe Boating Week and continues throughout the year.