CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Environmental Police are encouraging the use of life jackets as National Safe Boating Week begins Saturday.

A Heat Advisory is in effect for eastern portions of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties from 8 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Sunday. Temperatures will range from 92-96 degrees on both days, with the heat index (or the temperature it feels like when the humidity is factored in), approaching 100 degrees.

National Safe Boating Week is May 27 – 27, 2022

“What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if someone ends up in the water. Life jackets can be the determining factor between life and death in many boating accidents. Each year hundreds of people lose their lives, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket.”

Massachusetts Environmental Police

The conditions are a perfect day for boating, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in general. It is safe and responsible to consistently wear a life jacket every time boaters are in the water. In Massachusetts, children under the age of 12 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket while on a boat that is underway. From September 15 to May 15, canoeists/kayakers are required to wear a life jacket. Personal watercraft users and waterskiers must wear a life jacket.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020 was caused by drowning. Out of those who drowned, 86% were not wearing a life jacket.