Life jackets save lives! America’s Boating Club – Marco Island (AB Club – Marco Island) and 13 other boating related organizations gathered Saturday, Nov. 2 at Rose Marina to remind Marco Island Boaters to always wear a life jacket (also known as a Personal Flotation Device) while on the water or underway in a boat.
“Nationally, there are an average of 670 fatal boating accidents annually. The vast majority of those who died by drowning were not wearing a life jacket,” according to Tom Morr, Commander of America’s Boating Club – Marco Island.
“As Marco residents enter the 2019-2020 boating season, every boater should remember to always wear their life jackets, hence the name ‘Wear It,’ said Morr.
Federal law requires that boat operators must have a readily available life jacket for every passenger on board a moving vessel in waters patrolled by the US Coast Guard. Further, anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while above deck and underway, Morr indicated.
“Almost 85 percent of those who drowned in a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket,” said Morr.
Life jackets must be in good condition and properly fit the wearer and be appropriate for the activity said Morr.
More than 80 boating safety advocates gathered at Rose Marina to share information and be included in a picture of everyone wearing a life jacket. This communications campaign is a reminder to all boaters about how inherently dangerous boating can be and why always wearing a life jacket is so important.
Participating organization representatives were from: America’s Boating Club – Marco Island, Civil Air Patrol, Collier County Sheriff’s Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Flotilla 95, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Friends of Rookery Bay, Marco Bay Yacht Club, Marco Island Boy Scouts of America, Marco Island Fire Department, Marco Island Police Department, Marco Island Yacht Club, Marco Sport Fishing Club, the Sailing Association of Marco Island and Team Ocean.
America’s Boating Club – Marco Island and Flotilla 95 of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary conduct free Vessel Safety Checks to assure that Marco Island boats are properly equipped as required by law and that life jackets and other required equipment are in good working condition and on board said Morr.
More information about Life Jackets and their use can be found under America’s Boating Channel on the website marcoboatingclub.org.