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One summer my family was camping with another family when I was an invincible teenager. We were the only ones using the campground, which included a small lake. One day we kids took a raft to float on the lake. Since my kid sister was coming, we grabbed a life jacket for her to wear. Later, as we were trying to get back to the dock, we dropped the paddle in the lake. Being young and invincible, and forgetting I can’t swim real well, I jumped in to retrieve it. I found it odd that the paddle could float better than I. Also, the breeze was pushing the raft away, and the dock was further than I thought. After I’d been splashing around too much, my friend had the sense to toss me the life jacket. That allowed me to swim to the raft instead of sinking in the lake.

Last week I got a call from a coworker that’s a member of the Coast Guard auxiliary. He said this week is National Safe Boating Week, and he asked me to share the following with you:

“Boaters, whether new or experienced, love the adventure and fun of a day spent on the water. However, accidents can happen quickly – so don’t just carry a life jacket – ‘Wear It!’ Most boating fatalities are drownings – and 84 percent of those who drown while boating were reported as not wearing a life jacket. Now, new styles are available – comfortable, lightweight and perfect for any boating activity or sport. May 16 through 22 is National Safe Boating Week. Celebrate by always wearing your life jacket every time you boat. And ask your friends and family to do the same! Visit safeboatingcampiagn.com for more information. The National Safe Boating Council, its local partners, remind you to always ‘Wear It!’”

From my experience, remember that a life jacket may save your life, or the life of another. Always have your life jacket with you to …

Be Safe!

Keith S.