Every two minutes, someone dies from drowning. Around 1.2 million people around the world lose their lives from accidental drowning. More than 50% of these drowning incidents comprise of children. Some know how to swim or have attended swimming lessons but had not worn life jackets when they drowned.
In the United States alone, ten people die from accidental drowning every day. This considerably ranks as the 5th leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.
Life jackets are practically designed to keep you afloat or above the water to keep you safe from drowning. Life jackets, PFDs, or life vests are all alike and the US Coast Guard has prescribed Type 1 to 5 vests for different floating requirements.
Inflatable life jackets are fast becoming popular as floatation device because it’s not bulky and you can just fit it right into your bag when you go for a swim. These are also more buoyant as compared to other life jackets because it can turn you upside down immediately even when unconscious. This type of life jacket inflate automatically the minute you fall into the water and with its striking colors, wearers are made very visible too for rescue teams to spot them easily.
It’s summer time and the cool waters are taunting you to dive in. Many lives are lost with carelessly wading into the water without any life jacket on. “Every time you go on the waterway, you’re taking a gamble with your life or your family’s life or whoever you’re with,” said by Morgan County Rescue Squad Chief Danny Kelso. Two people have actually drowned in the Morgan County River this summer. It seems that year after year, lives are lost from accidental drowning and this usually happens from June to August.
The Tennessee River has claimed many lives because this is a public waterway and there are no lifeguards on duty as compared to public pools. Also, not wearing life jackets increases the probability of drowning because you don’t have any idea about the water conditions. Even if you’re the best swimmer in the world, your own health conditions and even the water could get to you and ruin your chances of survival.
If you are wearing a life jacket, you know that you will not drown given that you are wearing a PFD that is of safety standards and fits you well. The bottomline is that the life jacket saves your life because it is engineered specifically to do so.
Now, if you risk going into the water without a life jacket because you know how to swim or you happen to be a professional swimmer, it’s still a risky move. The Tennessee River’s currents are said to be at “ungodly speeds” which is why even the most skilled swimmers can get tired easily when swimming against the current.
Experts and officials urge and require people to wear life jackets when out in an open water – there should be no exceptions at all. Some adults feel that they are restricted by life vests or think that using PFDs are just for kids or babies – so they proceed without wearing one.
Officials also advise people to know the depth of water before jumping in. Also, it is important to hydrate yourself by drinking lots of water and not consuming alcoholic beverages which is also one of the culprits for accidental drowning.
Same thing happened in Portland when a paddle board swimmer drowned and died after falling off her paddle board. The water is chilling at 51 degrees which can render you lifeless in a beat. Ha Khuong Vo Dang, 28, died from drowning at the Columbia River and she had no life jacket on. A life jacket can mean the difference between life and death – be sure to have one packed for every family member.
Although some adults feel they are way cooler with their life jackets on – it’s still more awesome to be alive rather than cool and dead. Authorities call on all individuals to wear life jackets at all times especially when in the water or even in boats to prevent any accidental or unintentional drowning from happening to you or a loved one.
If you’re going to be participating in summer water activities, especially with young ones, it is worth taking some time to read our infant life jacket reviews to find the best infant life jacket for your newborn.