Still from “I Float!” PSA
By now most people know the importance of wearing a properly fitted, USCG-approved lifejacket while boating. However, year after year hundreds of people tragically lose their lives on the water while not wearing a lifejacket.
Why is that? Well, there’s definitely a stigma associated with wearing lifejackets, especially among teens and adults who feel like they’re for children or people who can’t swim. In fact, it’s pretty commonplace to see boaters out on the water, even jet skiing, without their lifejackets. But the numbers don’t lie, and according to the USCG, 84% of boaters who drowned in 2014 weren’t wearing a lifejacket.
Dana Gage has experienced the reality of these statistics. Her 15-year old son’s life was tragically cut short while visiting a friend’s lake house. Connor did a flip from the boat dock, landed badly, and didn’t resurface. After 40 minutes under water, a dive team was called for recovery. Despite being a lifelong lake kid and an excellent swimmer, Connor drowned. Had Connor been required to wear a life jacket, he’d be alive today. To honor Connor’s life, the Gage family founded The LV Project to encourage others to “be buoyant” and be responsible by using life vests on open water.
The Gages in 2011. Image via The LV Project
Nothing is more important to Boat Ed than safety, so we’ve partnered with The LV Project to produce this short PSA to encourage boaters to wear their life jackets.
From now on, let’s all declare “I float!” and “we float!” while out on the water, and encourage boaters to be smart, be safe, and be buoyant.