Life jackets necessary year-round, but especially with high water, hidden debris

   Barren River Lake boaters and their passengers should each have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board.
   Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but “Wear It!” at all times while boating. Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket.
Lifesaving Life Jacket Facts
• It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jacket. • Jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous.
• Jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat.
• Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
• Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
• Take the time to ensure a proper fit.
• Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.
• On recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin. Some state laws vary – check with your local Marine Law Enforcement Authorities.
Selecting the Correct Life Jacket
   Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for you, your planned activities, and the water conditions you expect to encounter.
• Try It On
• Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
• Make sure the jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
• Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up.
• If there is excess room above the openings and the jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.

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