Seattle-area Coast Guardsmen enforced safety regulations over Labor Day weekend

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard NewsSEATTLE — Law enforcement teams from Coast Guard Station Seattle conducted random boardings in and around the Puget Sound/Lake Washington areas to assure safe boating practices over Labor Day Weekend.

Out of the 35 Boardings preformed, seven outings were terminated because of an insufficient number of lifejackets onboard; the law states that recreational boats must carry one wearable lifejacket (Type I, II, III or Type V lifejacket) for each person aboard and any boat 16ft and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one throwable lifejacket (Type IV lifejacket).

The number one cause of boating fatalities is drowning, most often by sudden, unexpected entry into the water. Wearing a lifejacket increases the chances of surviving a boating accident, in fact, the U.S. Coast Guard estimates that lifejackets could have saved more than 80 percent of boating fatalities from occurring.

The Coast Guard conducts routine safety checks to ensure recreational boaters are prepared for accidents that can and do happen with surprising speed. Always wear a lifejacket while on water or, at minimum, have lifejacket available for each passenger for quick retrieval. The most common reason for boaters being escorted home by the Coast Guard is not having enough lifejackets for the people onboard.

As warmer weather holds, the Coast Guard reminds boaters and their passengers to always wear a lifejacket. Modern lifejackets are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes. Many are thin and flexible, some are inflatable and as compact as a scarf or fanny pack until they hit water (when they’ll automatically fill with air). There is no reason to risk your life or the life of those you care about by not wearing, or having quick access to, a personal flotation device.

Please visit http://www.uscgboating.org for more information on the Coast Guard’s boardings and other safety resources.

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