National Safe Boating Week takes place this week May 18-24, 2019. It is annually held the week prior to Memorial Day Weekend. Boating partners across the United States and Canada are teaming to promote safe boating practices, including the wear of life jackets for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the 2019 boating season.
The goal of National Safe Boating Week is to educate the public about the importance of safe boating practices and wearing life jackets while on the water.
What You Need to Know About Life Jackets
If you are operating a boat, canoe or kayak of any length, you must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board. If stored, they should be readily accessible.
Children under 13 years of age must wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway in a boat.
What to know before buying a Life Jacket
• Life jackets are also called Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s).
• Unless the life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved, you cannot be sure that it will keep you afloat.
• Add a whistle to your life jacket so that you can blow it if you need help.
• Select the right life jacket for the type of boating and/or activities you will be doing.
• Check that the life jacket is appropriate for your weight and chest size.
• Check that it is properly fitted and fully clipped or zipped up.
• Check for a snug fit. Adjust straps and buckles to ensure a proper fit that does not restrict breathing. If you lift a partner’s life jacket by the shoulders, the life jacket should not ride up to cover the wearer’s ears. Readjust the straps and buckles, and if it still does not pass the lift test, try a different size.
Learn more about the different types of life jackets here.
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