Friday marks “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work!” Day.

By Lynn Burkhead, for the Herald Democrat

The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife and the National Safe Boating Council are both urging boaters, anglers and water enthusiasts to join in the fun today by wearing a life jacket or flotation device. personnel (PFD) to work.

It’s all for a great fun educational cause as the summer boating season approaches and kicks off with today’s Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day! for Friday, May 20.

According to a press release from the National Safe Boating Council, the day is a fun way to help raise national and global awareness through an effort that “…encourages boaters to get the most out of their boating adventure by being responsible.” .

“Have fun on Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day!” said Yvonne Pentz, director of communications for the National Safe Boating Council, in a press release. “No matter how old you are, this is a great opportunity to share your love for boating with others – and get a chance to win a prize.”

In today’s effort to help create a safer boating experience this year, Pentz notes that there are a variety of ways for individuals to participate, including wearing a life jacket wherever a person is working, taking a picture showing wearing a PFD, posting that picture on social media platforms (using the hashtag #wearyourlifejacketatworkday) and tagging the “Safe Boating Campaign” on media sites social with @boatingcampaign.

The press release also indicates that boaters will be randomly selected throughout the day, giving them the opportunity to win prizes as part of the Boating Safety campaign.

“Share your favorite boating activity and why you are boating responsibly with family, friends and coworkers that day,” Pentz said, in the press release.

After the day “Wear your life jacket to work!” effort this Friday, attention then turns over the next seven days to “National Safe Boating Week 2022,” an annual effort that will run May 21-27 of this year.

During this week-long effort, the Safe Boating campaign will provide daily advice to boaters on various social media platforms. According to Pentz, you can follow the Safe Boating campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @boatingcampaign.

All of this is important because water safety is of paramount importance at the start of the summer boating season of the year, as well as peak fishing effort in late spring and summer.

As this influx of boaters and anglers occurs on lakes in Texas and the rest of the country, Pentz notes that US Coast Guard statistics show drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of five fatalities. related to boating in 2020. And sadly, some 86% of those who drowned that year were not wearing life jackets at the time.

Keep in mind that simply wearing a life jacket is not necessarily enough. When selecting a life jacket, or PFD, a boater should check and ensure that it is a US Coast Guard approved flotation device, that it is suitable for the boating activity in which he participates and that he is well adjusted.

Incidentally, the National Safe Boating Council was established in 1958 and is said to be the primary coalition for the advancement and promotion of safer boating nationwide through education, awareness and training efforts. And the Safe Boating campaign is also produced with a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, in addition to being administered by the US Coast Guard.

To learn more about the above two items, please visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com and/or www.safeboatingcouncil.org.