Recent Louisiana Boating Accidents Show the Importance of Life Jackets

Boating accidents occur with little warningWe recently wrote a blog discussing how Louisianans can improve their safety while boating. The content of that blog has proven to be very important, especially since the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) claims 13 Louisianans have died in boating accidents since the start of 2016. According to the LDWF, more than half of those killed this year might have survived if they had been wearing life jackets or other flotation devices. Life jacket safety tips may have saved lives this year if they had been followed.

Officials with the LDWF claim some boaters do not wear flotation devices because they are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, some of those people paid for this mistake with their lives. Statistics back up the claims of the LDWF.

According to the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association, 70 percent of boating accidents occur from drowning. Another 90 percent who drown are not wearing life jackets. Most drownings occur on inland waters, not out at sea.

Life Jacket Safety Tips from the United States Coast Guard

There are some important aspects of life jackets all boaters should understand. The U.S. Coast Guard suggests the following precautions can maximize the usefulness of life jackets.

  • Ensure your life jacket or flotation device is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Pay close attention to the labels on flotation devices. If using a life jacket, make sure it fits properly and that it is appropriate for your chosen water activities.
  • Make sure your life jacket or flotation device is in good condition. Flotation devices should not have holes.
  • Never give children adult-sized life jackets, as they can slip out during emergencies. It may be tempting to buy life jackets your children will grow into, but it is also very dangerous.

We only have one month left until summer ends. Some of us may decide to spend recreational time boating. Accidents can occur without warning. Speeding, hitting objects and rogue waves can cause boaters to fall overboard. Without flotation devices, such accidents can prove fatal.

The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat wish everyone a happy and safe summer.


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