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How to Stay Safe on the Water this Summer

National Safe Boating Week will be held from May 21–27. As summer approaches, it is important to know how to stay safe and avoid a boating-related accident.

This is particularly important for San Diego boaters. Although California offers many wonderful opportunities for boating, the state also ranks second in the nation for boating accidents and boating deaths.

To prevent drowning and promote safe boating practices, the National Safe Boating Council encourages all recreational boaters to wear their life jacket and follow these five life jacket safety tips:

  • No matter what activity you have planned – boating, fishing sailing, etc. – always remember to wear a life jacket every time you are on the water. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the cause of death in approximately three-fourths of boating fatalities and approximately 84 percent of those who drown are not wearing life jackets.
  • Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Double check that your life jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
  • Take the time to ensure a proper fit.
  • Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.
  • On recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin. Some state laws vary – check with your local Marine Law Enforcement Authorities.