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Boat and Watercraft Accidents

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Boating Accident Prevention Tip: Life Jacket Information


Blog Category:
1/27/2009
Andrew Kim
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This month, we covered the story of a man sentenced to six years in jail after a drunken boat accident lead to the deaths of three people on the Nisqually River. Although operating a boat while under the influence is illegal and extremely dangerous, we also wanted our readers to note that no one on the vessel at the time it capsized was wearing a lifejacket - a simple precaution that could have changed the outcome of this tragedy.

In Washington State, it's a law for all children under the age of 12 to wear a life jacket while in a boat over 19 feet long. In the case of this recent accident, both the 9-year-old and 5-year-old boys involved would have had on life vests had their adults been following the laws.

It is also important for our readers to know that not all lifejackets are created equal - be sure that yours is well-fitting, and tightly secured. Different water activities involve different types of lifejackets - also be sure to pick the correct safety vest for what you are doing, whether it is fishing or water skiiing.

Finally, understand that lifejackets are important even for those of us who can swim. Although you may be able to swim in ideal conditions, you may need your life jacket to keep you afloat if you are in rough waters, injured, unconscious, confused, or fatigued.



Category: Boat and Watercraft Accidents


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