U.S. Coast Guard officials are reminding mariners and boaters to have proper water safety equipment, especially life jackets.
In 2020, 767 boating deaths were reported nationally, according to USCG data. In instances where the cause of death was known, about 86% of people who died weren’t wearing life jackets, according to USCG.
“It’s crucial for boaters to wear a life jacket at all times because it very likely will save your life if you enter the water unexpectedly,” said Capt. Scott Johnson, chief of the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety at Coast Guard Headquarters. “The Coast Guard reminds boaters to make sure that life jackets are serviceable, properly sized and correctly fastened.”
Mariners should make sure that their vessels have USCG-approved life jackets or personal floatation devices, as well as a safety whistle, electronic strobe light, emergency pyrotechnic flares, a personal locating beacon and other safety equipment, the agency said.