Preparation for a safe July 4 weekend on the water starts with PFDs, boat safety

Consider that:
* In 2009, 3,358 people were injured and 736 died in boating incidents. Of those who drowned, 9 out of 10 were not wearing life jackets.
* Of the people who died in a boating incident in 2009, more than 7 out of 10 (73%) drowned. More than 90 percent of the people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
* Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating incidents.
          – Statistics courtesy of the Center for Disease Control.
The statistics speak for themselves.  
To insure a safe weekend on the water, start with PFDs or personal floatation devices.
     – When in the water, wear a PFD (no, it won’t make you look stupid, just safe).
     – Have at least one Coast Guard approved PFD per person on the boat.
     – On the boat, make sure everyone knows where the PFDs are located.
     – Have a throwable floatation device (required if boat is over 16 ft.).
Boating Safety Tips
     – Be aware of the weather.
     – Have a sound producing device on board.
     – Make sure lights and instruments are working.
     – Carry a tool box and spare parts.
     – Top off fuel.
     – Have a working fire extinguisher.
     – Make sure battery is charged and charging.
     – Inform others of boating plans, and when you will return.
     – Have an anchor and/or line to secure docking.
     – Have necessary registration and permits.
For more detailed information, log on to Boating Safety.

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