Life Jacket Safety

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Did you know that 80 percent of boating accident fatalities involve individuals who were not wearing a lifejacket? The floatation devices may not be the most comfortable things to wear, but there’s no denying that they save lives.

While wearing a lifejacket at all times on the water is recommended for optimal safety, we know that many adults don’t wish to do this. However, children should always be required to wear lifejackets while on a boat. Additionally, there should be enough appropriately-sized lifejackets on board for each person, located in an easily accessible place in case of emergency.

What is an appropriately-sized lifejacket? First of all, children can slip of adult-sized lifejackets and should be fitted with child-sized jackets instead. After the lifejacket is donned and all clips and zippers are secured, test its snugness by standing with your hands in the air while another individual tugs up on the jacket. If it rides up, it’s not snug enough.

Of course, today’s options span more than just those standard orange foam lifejackets. Some of your many choices include:

  • Thin, flexible lifejackets
  • Lifejackets that inflate once they hit the water
  • Lifejackets that are built into fishing vests
  • And more

Visit your local marine supply store to try on different lifejackets and learn what you’re most comfortable wearing. Type III lifejackets, which fit like a vest, are a very popular choice. But the type of lifejacket you purchase depends on which water activities you participate in. For example, type I lifejackets should be worn in rough water. The staff can help assess your needs and help you select a lifejacket that fits well.

Remember to inspect all lifejackets each year for signs of wear, fading or waterlogging. If a lifejacket sustains damage or loses buoyancy, replace it as soon as possible.

For a safe bet on boat insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

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