JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 16, 2011) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District says a life jacket is the perfect gift for Father’s Day and stresses the importance of wearing a life jacket while participating in water activities.
Ninety percent of those who drown in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes and rivers were not wearing a life jacket. Many of those who drown knew how to swim, but did not know how to swim well, or did not know their physical limits and did not survive. When one becomes exhausted while swimming or unconscious due to an accident and cannot save him/herself, wearing a life jacket may save a life.
There are many excuses for not wearing a life jacket while swimming or boating. Many times it is about how uncomfortable they fit and how they prevent one from achieving a good tan. Inflatable life jackets are lightweight and easier to wear than before. They are compact, comfortable and come in styles that resemble suspenders or a belt pack. Inflatable life jackets rely on an inflation chamber that provides flotation when it is deployed either automatically or manually by a replaceable CO2 cartridge. All inflatable life jackets, as a backup, have a tube that can be blown into to inflate the jacket if needed. This tube is also used to deflate the life jacket.
U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable life jackets are only approved to be worn by someone 16 years of age or older. Inflatable life jackets should only be worn by those who know how to swim. The inflation of the life jacket can take 4-10 seconds which may cause someone who cannot tread water to panic. Like any life jacket, it should be maintained. Annually check the life jacket’s performance by orally inflating it and leaving overnight to ensure there are no leaks.
There are no good excuses for not wearing a life jacket. It can be an overwhelming tragedy to have a loved one die for something as simple as wearing a life jacket. Life jackets help save lives.
Release no. 11-37