Magazine article USA TODAY

Life Jackets Are Life Savers

Magazine article USA TODAY

Life Jackets Are Life Savers

Article excerpt

It is not the most attractive part of recreational boating, but it is the most important: a personal flotation device (PFD), more commonly known as a life jacket. While that may seem obvious, most boaters are not prepared to deal with an accident that puts them in the water. Coast Guard statistics show that, in a recent 12-month stretch, of the 524 recreational boaters who drowned, 442 were not wearing PFDs.

"Life jackets don't work unless you wear them." states John Drengenberg, manager of Consumer Affairs for Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Northbrook III., an independent. not-for-profit testing and certification organization. "No one plans to fall overboard." he notes. "but life jackets need to be available, cry, and worn. Once you're in the water, life jackets are almost impossible to find and put on quickly."

Drengenberg gives the following tips for safe recreational boating:

* Make sure there is at least one Coast Guard-approved PFD available for each person on board. …

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