HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – With boating safety week underway and Memorial Day right around the corner, now’s the time to start thinking about safety out on the water.
Life jackets are one of the most highly suggested, and in some circumstances, required pieces of safety equipment for boating and water activities.
A simple fastening of a strap and click of a buckle can save a life. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, over 80 percent of boating fatality victims could have been saved by wearing a life jacket.
A good way to determine which type of jacket you should be wearing is to look for the U.S. Coast Guard tag on the inside of the jacket. That’ll have details on suggested weight and size requirements. Another indicator that you’re wearing the right jacket is it fits.
Boathouse Manager of Holyoke Rows John Hooks-Davis told 22News, “Just making sure that you’re wearing a life jacket that does fasten appropriately, and fits fairly snugly.”
While you may not be required to wear a life preserver on certain boats, they still need to be on board.
“The requirement is that there has to be one on there for everyone, for all the people on board that vessel that day, you have to have that many preservers,” said Captain James Brunelle of Brunelle’s Marina.
Life jackets must be worn by children 12 and under along with personal watercraft users but boating safety advocates recommend all boaters and passengers secure those safety vests as it just might save your life.
Mass.gov has further detailed information of life jacket requirements and tips.