Page 15 - Mid America Boating - July 2021 issue
P. 15

There’s a good reason why the                                                      recreational vessel must have a
      US Coast Guard Auxiliary asks                                                        U.S. Coast Guard Approved life-  Child lifejacket requirements:
      you to please always wear your                                                       jacket for each person aboard.  • Federal Law requires that when a vessel is
      life jacket . We want you to be                                                      • Lifejacket wear regulations for  underway, children under 13 years of age  15
      safe on the water and it can save                                                    children may vary by state.  must wear their lifejacket.
      your life and those of your                                                          • Adult-sized lifejackets may not  • Exceptions for when below deck or within
      friends and family.                                                                  work for children. Child size life-  an enclosed cabin.
        As warm weather boating is                                                         jackets are available.      • State laws may vary. Check with your state
      here, you might think the risk of                                                    • When worn correctly a foam  boating safety officials.”
      drowning decreases; in fact, most                                                    filled lifejacket will fit snugly and  (Source: USCG Auxiliary).
      boat related drownings happen on                                                     will not allow the lifejacket to                                 [     MID-AMERICA BOATING
      warm, sunny days. So, you should                                                     rise above the wearer's chin or  Request a Vessel Safety Check
      always wear your life jacket!                                                        ears.                         The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts
                                                                                           • Foam-filled lifejackets should  free vessel safety checks to ensure your boat
      Why you need to wear a                                                               be tested for wear and buoyancy  is safe to go out and enjoy the water. Please
      life jacket                                                                          at   least  once  a   year.  note that vessel safety checks are not avail-
        Quite simply, wearing a life                                                       Waterlogged, faded, or other-  able in all areas, but a virtual safety check
      jacket will save your life by:                                                       wise damaged lifejackets should  may be an alternative. Contact the Auxiliary:
      • Keeping you above water if you                                                     be discarded.     
      unexpectedly fall into the water.                                                    • Inflatable lifejackets should be  DEPT&category=i-want-a-vsc to see what is
      • Helping you stay buoyant if you                                                    maintained per the manufactur-  available in your area.          ]     JULY 2021
      jump into the water to save                                                          er's instructions.
      someone.                                                                             • Most adults only need 7 to 12  Take a Boating Safety Class
      • Providing a means to stay above water if  comfortable and can be secured with an  pounds of buoyancy (31 to 53 Newton) to  Boating safety classes, even if not available
      you fall in and are hurt, injured or tired.  adjustable feature.            keep their heads above water.        in-person, are also available online. Statistics
      • Keeping you above water if you can’t swim  For sizing information and help in select-  • Though not always required by law, a life-  show that taking safe boating classes save
      well or don’t swim at all.            ing a life jacket, please see www.uscgboat-  jacket should be worn at all times when the  lives. More information is available here:
      Choosing a life jacket        vessel is underway. A wearable lifejacket can
      When purchasing a life jacket, it should be:  jacket_brochure.pdf           save your life, but only when you wear it.  Please wear your life jacket at all times and
      • US Coast Guard approved (there may be                                     • Wearable lifejackets must be readily acces-  do not drink and drive! MAB
      additional federal, state, and local require-  Key takeaways                sible. You must be able to put your lifejacket
      ments). You should check the label of the  • The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.  on in a reasonable amount of time in an  David G. Epstein, BC-SRB, FSO-HR is an offi-
      jacket.                               • Certain lifejackets are designed to keep  emergency  (vessel  sinking,  on  fire,  cer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary which is the
      • Ensure it is appropriate for the activity  your head above water and help you remain  etc.).Lifejackets should not be stowed in  uniformed Auxiliary of Team Coast Guard. He is a
      (motor boating, paddle boating, etc.) and  in a position that permits proper breathing.  plastic bags, in locked or closed compart-  Branch Chief in the Strategic Planning Directorate
      that it is in good condition and safety  • Some styles of lifejackets are not intended  ments or have other gear stowed on top of  and Staff Officer for Flotilla 14-05-03 in New York
      checked.                              for weak or non-swimmers (read the label and  them.                        City. For more information, please visit
      • Make sure it fits well, checking chest size.  be honest).                 • Throwable devices must be immediately
      • Try your life jacket on and make sure it’s  • To meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, a  available for use.

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                                                                                                            you should use

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