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Life Jackets Save Lives

From The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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The Coast Guard Auxiliary wants everyone to have fun and to be safe on the water, but we know from statistics that deaths caused by recreational boating accidents have increased by 3.8 percent in 2009.

A sad note is most adults do NOT wear a life jacket unless they are skiing, tubing, or riding a wave runner. A program to emphasize the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s goal of getting everybody to wear a life jacket while on the water was to hold a raffle.

Adults seen by a member of the Auxiliary wearing a life jacket are given a ticket for a drawing to be held once a month, the winner receiving a FREE dinner for two at a local restaurant.

The local newspapers bought into this since it stresses the importance of wearing a life jacket. Flyers posted around town publicizing this endeavor spread the message even further.

Children should definitely wear life jackets, but as adults, the older children won’t because they don’t have to past a certain age.

T-shirts are given to children with the words: “I was caught wearing my life jacket by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.” Local stores selling ice cream participated by giving away child-size cups of ice cream if they presented a coupon from the Auxiliary.

The above methods have been used and do stress the importance of wearing a life jacket. There is really no reason not to wear a life jacket with the lightweight inflatables for sale today.

Nearly 75 percent of the 736 people who died in boating accidents in 2009 drowned, and 84 percent of those victims reportedly were not wearing a life jacket. Take a boating safety course and wear your life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniform volunteer component of the US Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America's Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service's missions.

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