Buffer

Wear Floatation Swimsuits Before Shoving Off

Elvis Elvis

While having the proper safety equipment aboard a fishing or recreational boat should be a year-round concern, boaters need to pay particular attention that their vessels are properly equipped at the beginning of the season, especially when it comes to life preservers, or personal flotation swimsuit and devices (PFDs).

By law, a PFD is required for each person on board, and for boats longer than 16 feet a throw ring or cushion with straps is required.

“We had 10 people die last season in nine different boating accidents, and only one person who died was wearing a PFD,” Fields said. “Nationally, about 80 percent of people who drown in boating accidents aren’t wearing PFDs.”

Today, life preservers are lightweight and comfortable, especially the self-inflating models, which were developed to serve the needs of tournament fishermen.

Wear Floatation Swimsuits Before Shoving OffWear Floatation Swimsuits Before Shoving Off

For small children consider a life jacket with a crotch strap, which prevents little ones from sliding out of their preservers. Even swimsuits with flotation are made for small children.

By law, children under the age of 12 must wear a life preserver when riding in an open boat. This excludes being inside a houseboat or below deck on a large cruiser.