For many Valley residents, the summer season means enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and canoeing. But each year, tragic and avoidable boating-related fatalities occur across the Valley. A study of the long-term trends indicates that the use of proper safety equipment such as a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) would greatly reduce this number.
Every year, nearly 200 Californians drown while boating. Of these, 88 percent are not wearing a lifejacket or do not have it properly secured.
Before heading out on a boat this summer, ensure that all persons on board - even strong swimmers - are outfitted with a correctly sized lifejacket appropriate to the activity. Be aware of and monitor the weather and water conditions, be prepared to head to the nearest point of safety if the conditions change, never consume alcohol before or during a boating outing, and ensure boaters know how to safely operate and load the vessel.
Today, the Red Cross marks National Lifejacket Day, an annual campaign to encourage and promote the use of lifejackets and PFDs among boaters.
For information on boating safety and how to choose a lifejacket or PFD, download our tip sheet:
For more information and summer safety tips, or to take a CPR/First Aid Course visit us online at www.arccentralvalley.org