Life-saving jackets, by their very design, are intended to prevent chances of drowning in water and that should be a great reason for you to wear one, every time you take to the water. Yet, surprisingly, the majority of the people out on their boats choose to ignore this life-saving device. The very thought that you having life jackets on a boat by itself can be a great reassurance to your safety.
Consider this: If a situation warrants, would you have adequate time to find it and wear it before you or your loved ones are in the waters? The most obvious answer is negative and that is why we have thought it essential to highlight why you should buy the right type of life jacket to suit your needs. Early on, simple design was adopted for life jackets and looked more like a vest made of corking or wood. If you have watched the ‘Titanic’ closely, you will remember the photographs of some of these life jackets. But this design and the material employed had a problem. In the event of shipwrecks, most people wearing the life jacket were found with their face pointing down towards the water. Subsequent improvements have ensured that your head remains above the water.
Inflatable life jackets using foam came into existence during WWII and were named “Mae Wests: In modern times, life jackets have shed much of their weight and modern designs ensure that they are less bulky to make it comfortable for the individual wearing. The idea behind these changes is that if life jackets are more comfortable and less bulky, more and more people will be encouraged to wear it and consequently minimize loss of life.
Further improvements have ensured that customers today have a wide range of life jackets to choose from. The digital world has contributed its share by bringing a wide array of offerings right on to your mobile phones, handheld devices or within the comforts of your home on a desktop. Therefore, getting to know about life jackets is merely a few clicks away today. Now, if you are still looking for reasons to wear a life jacket, we have culled out some of the top reasons for your benefit.
A life jacket can save your life
Reported accidents, from recreational boating, are compiled every year by the US Coast Guard. These reports cover accidents from across the nation. According to the 2012 reports, the following were the known cause leading to death:-
459 instances of drowning (Only 71 of these individuals had put on a life jacket)
103 cases of Trauma (35 people used a life jacket)
29 instances of cardiac arrest (10 people used a life jacket)
11 instances of Hypothermia (5 people used a life jacket)
2 instances of poisoning from carbon monoxide (None of them used a life jacket)
Weather can play truant
Many people take the weather on a given day for granted but it takes very little time to turn a beautiful day into catastrophe. But, weather by itself does not play a significant role in boat accidents. The following are among the major causes of boat accidents according to 2012 statistics.
581 accidents due to inattention from the operator
417 accidents due to inexperienced operators
391 accidents due to improper lookout
346 accidents due to machinery failure
310 accidents due to excessive speed
Life jackets are not for kids alone
If you thought life jackets are only for kids, you could be wrong. While it is true that about 1 out of every five drowning instances involves children, the rest are obviously older and that constitutes about 80% of all drowning cases! Therefore, age is not a criterion to determine whether you wear a life jacket or not.
Drinking and boating don’t go well together
This is, of course, a no-brainer, and yet, there are many who sit out on the boat under a hot sun and sipping their day away. It does not take long before the mix starts working on your reflexes and the ability to hold yourself. Excessive drinking while boating has been a leading cause of many accidents on the waters. With a life jacket, you will still stay afloat through the whole of you may not be there.
More accidents happen closer to land
You are not going into the deep waters and therefore don’t need a life jacket. Sorry, wrong again because accidents are not dependent on the water level and can happen anywhere. In fact, more accidents happen closer to land. A life jacket is the best way to be prepared for the unexpected.
Ensure that your life jacket is a perfect fit for you
A life jacket should fit you perfectly and that is pretty important. Consider the following factors when you are shopping for a life jacket:-
If the jacket is too big, it will influence the flotation device to prop up around the face and that could be pretty dangerous.
On the other hand, if the life jacket is too small, it may not help you to keep your body floating.
Life jackets can help in keeping you warm
Modern day life jackets are designed to maintain your body temperature warm when you out there in the waters. The ski jackets are particularly helpful for those floating around while waiting for the boat to pick them up. Remember also that water in some water bodies can be pretty chill and without appropriate protection, you could be spreading out a red carpet to eternal bliss in an eventual accident.
On top of all the above reasons, with a life jacket, you would also be setting a desirable example for others.