It won’t work if you don’t wear it. I’m referring to a life vest, it’s called a “life” vest for a reason, because it can save your life. When you’re out on the water you never know what might happen. A person could have a seizure or stroke and fall out of the boat, you could hit a rock and be thrown from the boat, the thing is you just never know so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The Minnesota DNR agrees read on!
Question of the week
Q: With the boating season upon us and fishing opener fast approaching, what do boaters need to remember about early season boating?
A: It may sound melodramatic, but it’s true: Cold water kills. Whether you are paddling, fishing or just taking a spin around the lake, it is vital to wear your life jacket any time you’re on cold water. When air temperatures turn balmy, it’s easy to forget that water temperatures may remain in the mid-40s well into early summer.
In the event of an unexpected fall overboard, even the strongest swimmers can quickly become incapacitated if not wearing a life jacket due to “cold water shock,” which causes an involuntary gasp and subsequent inhalation of water. In fact, 30 percent of boating fatalities in Minnesota occur during the cold water season, and in nearly all cases the victims were not wearing life jackets.
Simply having life jackets on board does not ensure safety. Actually wearing your life jacket – whether it’s a typical foam-filled jacket or one of the newer, lightweight, inflatable styles – remains the simplest and most effective measure you can take to stay safe on the water should the unexpected happen. Learn more at www.mndnr.gov/boatingsafety.
Debbie Munson Badini, DNR boat and water safety education coordinator