Every year, millions of Americans take time to enjoy our Nation’s waterways — one of our great natural treasures. As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19, and as warmer weather draws families to our Nation’s lakes, rivers, and beaches, this week serves as a critical reminder of the importance of staying safe on the water. Each year during National Safe Boating Week, the Coast Guard and an array of Federal, State, and local partners help save lives and guard against accidents by highlighting safe boating practices.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2019, and that 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
“Don’t just have your life jacket close by, wear it,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “If an accident occurs and you suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will help keep your head above water and could save your life.”
New life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.
The Wear It Ohio campaign encourages Vermilion boaters and water enthusiasts alike to always wear a life jacket when in or around water!
“We are excited to join forces with partners around the world to encourage everyone to wear a life jacket when on the water and always boat responsibly because the best boating experience is a safe boating experience,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.
The Safe Boating Campaign reminds Vermilion boaters to follow these safety tips: