Lee County Sheriffs Office- Weather Becomes a Boating concerns

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It’s that time of year again when weather becomes a huge boating concern. Weather changes quickly and, on occasion, boaters will not have an opportunity to react to emergency conditions.

A personal flotation device, often referred to as a life jacket, may be the difference between life and death during a boating emergency.

Whether or not you are able to swim, or consider yourself a “strong swimmer,” wearing a life jacket is essential. Studies have revealed that over 60% of drownings were people who considered themselves to be proficient swimmers.

Ensure that life jackets fit properly. Adults may wish to utilize the “touchdown test.” With the jacket on, raise your arms as though signaling a touchdown. With arms straight up, look to the right and to the left, making certain that the life jacket doesn’t hit your chin.

For children, use the “three inch rule.” With the child standing normally, arms at sides, grab the shoulders of the life jacket and lift up. If you can move the life jacket more than three inches up (or above the ears), it doesn’t fit properly.

Know the condition and location of your safety equipment. Unused equipment may become ineffective and/or unusable from a lack of use.

Be certain that there are a sufficient number of life jackets on board to accommodate your entire party and exercise caution when on the water!