There are many excuses to why you can’t wear your life jacket, but are they worth your life or the life of a loved one? You want to get some sun, you’ll get too hot with a life jacket on or it is too bulky and uncomfortable. But whether you’re going boating or kayaking on a lake, there’s never an excuse not to wear a life jacket.
Here are some of the excuses the Coast Guard crews come across.
1. “I have life jackets on board.”
Having life jackets on board the vessel is not enough; best to wear it all times to be safe. Accidents happen too fast on the water to reach for stowed life jackets.
2. “I’m a strong swimmer.”
Even a strong swimmer needs to wear a life jacket. During an emergency situation, clothing can become heavy or waterlogged while in the water. Remember the temperatures of Irish waters remain cold enough during the summer for hypothermia to set in within 15 minutes.
3. “It’s too hot and doesn’t look cool.”
Life jackets don’t even have to be ‘jackets’ anymore. Old-fashioned, bulky orange life jackets have been replaced with new varieties of life jackets, like inflatable life jackets that can double as a utility vest for storing equipment. These new styles are much cooler in the warmer weather and many inflate automatically when immersed in water.
4. “It gets in the way.”
There are life jacket styles available for almost any water activity – shore fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating and more.
5. “Nothing is going to happen to me.”
Face it, accidents happen. Water sports can be a fun and enjoyable activity and safe at the same time.
Importantly if the public see someone likely to get into danger call the Coast Guard at 112/ 999 immediately, don’t wait for someone else to make the call.
Pictured are two members of the public last year who were using arm bands as buoyancy, concerned members of the public alerted the Coast Guard and they were assisted safely back to shore by the Coast Guard boat from Howth station.