BLUE MARSH LAKE, MAY 18, 2017 — The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers at Blue Marsh Lake in eastern Pennsylvania would like to remind all of the importance of wearing a life jacket while boating. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities while 85 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.
The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters remember. Life jackets that use inflatable technologies are cool and comfortable. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack. Many inflate automatically when immersed in water. There are life jacket styles available for almost any boating activity. No matter what the activity or style chosen, the most important thing is this: remember to be responsible and always wear your life jacket while boating.
Most people who drown never intended to be in the water – they unexpectedly fell from a boat or dock into the water. When this happens, a person will reflexively gasp and can inhale up to one liter of water and can drown in less than a minute.
Expect the unexpected and wear the right size and type of life jacket.
Some other important things to remember before going boating for the first time this season.
- Review the state and local boating laws and regulations
- Make sure to know your boat’s capacity and never exceed this limit.
- Check the weather before you hit the water and keep an eye out for unexpected storms.
- Dress properly for the weather and the season.
- Make sure that your boat is properly equipped and that all safety gear is usable and accessible.
- Take a boating safety course.
Release no. 17-011