Most boat owners are fortunate enough to never experience an accident that leaves them in the water, struggling to stay afloat until they reach shore or help arrives. Even so, every boat owner should ensure that his or her boat is equipped for such worst-case scenarios. Having at least one functional and appropriately sized life jacket for each person on board is absolutely necessary, and here are a few reasons why.
Life Jackets are Lifesavers
Crashing into a rock, submerged object, or other boat may cause your boat to sink; and one’s chances of surviving the hours that ensue greatly increase with the assistance of a proper life jacket. Not only will having a life jacket on you allow you to conserve your energy as you wait for help. It can also save your life if you are knocked unconscious or thrown into water that is so cold you cannot swim in it.
Types of Life Jackets
There are several types of life jackets available for purchase. Most of them are either inherently buoyant (stuffed with foam or other buoyant materials), inflatable, or a hybrid of the two. Although uncomfortable, inherently buoyant life jacket are recommended for use in most of Maine’s many waterways.
Testing Life Jackets
Test your life jackets for buoyancy, fit, and performance at least once per year. If you notice that any of the life jackets you test provide minimal buoyancy, are faded, or are leaking, throw them out and replace them immediately.
The importance of having appropriate life jackets on your boat when you are out on the water cannot be underscore, but it is not the only measure you can take to promote the safety of you and everyone in your party. Routine inspections and preventive maintenance are also important, and these services may be available at your local marina. If you own a boat in Maine’s picturesque Lakes Region and are looking for a qualified professional that offers a full-range of boat services to help keep your boat as safe as can be, call Moose Landing Marina at (207) 693-6264.