30 May A life jacket is made to be worn
The best news this past week is that the boating season can official start. Water sports are, without a doubt, among the most popular summer activities.
The only downside is that every year, we hear of drownings that could easily have been avoided if people had worn their life jackets at the time of the incident.
A life jacket will be of no use if it is very difficult or even impossible to reach at the time we need it the most.
If there is one rule that should not be deviated from and that saves lives, it is to always wear your life jacket or personal flotation device when you are on the water or near the water.
Brightly colored life jackets make us more visible in the water. Compared to personal flotation devices (PFDs), life jackets offer better protection from a buoyancy standpoint and the ability to turn on our backs to breathe. However, PFDs are designed to be worn all the time and are therefore more comfortable than life jackets.
It is not in an emergency situation that we should try a new vest or PFD. Let’s test the device in a swimming pool or in shallow water, under supervision, to see how well we float.
As for child flotation devices, watch the following video to learn more.
A few tips
- Allow the lifejacket or PFD to air dry and avoid exposing it to direct heat sources.
- Store the device in a dry, well ventilated, and easily accessible place.
- Never sit or kneel on your lifejacket or PFD, or use it as a bumper for your boat.
Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source: Transport Canada