From the FWP website… Wearing a life jacket is the simplest life-saving strategy for safe boating.
Boating safety advocates across the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating, including consistent life jacket wear every time boaters are on the water, during National Safe Boating Week, held from May 21-27, 2016.
National Safe Boating Week promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket wear by recreational boaters through the national theme, Wear It!
What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if you end up in the water,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization for Wear It! “You can have a great time while choosing to always wear a life jacket and being a responsible boater.”
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2014, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. Montana recorded six boating fatalities in 2015. In 4 of these fatal accidents, no life jackets were worn.
“Each year people lose their lives while boating, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket,” said Liz Lodman, boat education coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “You never know when there may be a boating mishap, so it’s important that everyone onboard always wears a life jacket.”
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.
For a summary of Montana’s boat regulations, visit: fwp.mt.gov/education/outdoorRec/boatingFloatingKayaking.
For more information, contact Boat Education Coordinator Liz Lodman at 406-444-9940.