According to the US Coast Guard, 90% of boating accident victims who drowned in 2008 were not wearing life jackets (PFD). And the American Canoe Association provides statistics to show that nearly 70% of all drownings involving canoes, kayaks, or rafts might have been avoided if the victim had been wearing a lifejacket.
In addition to providing additional flotation, PFDs also provide an essential layer of warmth in cold water. Even strong swimmers need a PFD should they hit the water unexpectedly. And should an unfortunate accident occur, wearing a PFD will allow you to concentrate on rescuing yourself and others. Federal law actually requires that children under the age of 13 wear a lifejacket on deck of a recreational boat. So, before you leave the shore, remember, life jackets do matter - and they do make a difference.
Choosing a PFD
Choosing a PFD that is right for you or your child and fits well is essential to its effectiveness. Learn more about what type of PFD is right for you or your child, as well as how to find the perfect fit. The American Canoe Association's Paddle Safe, Paddle Smart series offers more information on how to correctly choose the appropriate PFD.