I read with sadness the other day of yet another drowning on one of our beautiful lakes. It brought to mind just how difficult it is to get boaters to take a boating safety course wherein we emphasize the life-saving value of a life jacket.
However, it has been proven that more than 90 percent of those who drown on our lakes and elsewhere would not have perished had they been wearing a life jacket. At each ramp on Lake Marion, for example, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has painted “WEAR IT” logos with the picture of a life jacket. Both the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the power squadrons teach boating safety classes and welcome enrollments.
For many years our country implored drivers of vehicles to “buckle up” for safety. But we finally had to pass a law to this effect to prevent senseless deaths. Will a similar law be necessary for all boaters to don life jackets when under way?
This, of course, would save the lives of many of our precious South Carolina boaters. Life jackets today are not cumbersome, and in fact, those that self inflate are quite comfortable and light weight.
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Please, boaters, don’t encourage another law: “WEAR IT” now.