RALEIGH, N.C. (July 21, 2016) —Since boating season started to ramp up in April, 11 boaters have died from drowning across the state. None of the victims were wearing a life jacket.
“Anyone who is in or near water should wear a life jacket,” said Maj. Chris Huebner of the Wildlife Resources Commission. “It’s a simple thing to do and it can absolutely mean the difference between life and death.”
North Carolina requires anyone younger than 13 to wear an appropriate life vest when on a recreational vessel. Anyone riding a personal watercraft or being towed by one must also wear an appropriate life vest.
Both North Carolina and federal regulations state that a personal floatation device in good condition and of appropriate size should be accessible for each person onboard a recreational vehicle.
“It’s important to put on your life jacket before you enter the water,” said Huebner. “In dire situations, there often isn’t time to grab a life vest and put it on properly. It can it save your life and can help you assist others who may be in danger.”
For more information on safe recreational boating or to enroll in a free boating education course by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating.aspx or call 919-707-0030.
Maj. Chris Huebner