NBCRightNow.com - According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 84% of people who drowned in Washington last year were NOT wearing life jackets. The way to prevent an accident on the water is simple...wear a life jacket!
This week is National Safe Boating week and Governor Jay Inslee has launched the "Wear It Washington" campaign encouraging all boaters to wear a life jacket.
According to Don Kidder of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 85, wearing a life jacket whether you're on or just off of your boat is a must. "You must have one wearable PFD (personal flotation device) for each person on-board," say Kidder.
There are four different types of PFDs: Type I, II, III and IV.
Type I: Floats in the water and keeps you face-up, in case you're unconscious. Meant to be worn for a long period of time in the water.
Type II: The "classic" PFD that is designed to keep you afloat for a shorter period of time than a Type I. It's less bulky as well.
Type III: Considered to be the most comfortable but will not keep you face-up in the water. Meant to be used in calm water.
Type IV: A PFD that is thrown to a person in the water. They come in either seat cushion form, or ring form. They are NOT meant to be worn.
If you intend to operate a boat and are over the age of 12, you MUST have a Boater Education card.
Kidder is teaching a class on June 15th at Columbia Basin College and it's free to attend.
If you're interested in taking the class to get your card, you can email Don at email@example.com.
For more information on boating safety, click here.