WEST POINT, Ga — Men, if you plan to take to the waterways this holiday weekend, listen up! The Army Corps of Engineers says put on those life jackets.
Over the past decade, 88% of all drowning victims on public waterways have been men. That’s why the Army Corps of Engineers launched it’s national water safety campaign called, “Life Jackets Worn . . . Nobody Mourns.” About a third of all boating fatalities result from people falling overboard. Another common cause of drowning is fatigue from swimming.
Rangers say wearing life jackets can mean the difference between life and death in both cases. They also suggest swimmers stay in designated swimming areas when enjoying public waterways.
“Another reason to swim at those areas– we have life jacket loaner stations there. So, if you show up for the lake and you need a life jacket for the day at those beach areas, you can go check one out, no charge for you. We have everything from infant all the way up to adult size life jackets. You can use that for the day, just as long as you bring it back at the end of the day,” says David Barr, Supervisory Park Ranger with the Army Corps of Engineers at West Point Lake.
Rangers will be patrolling the waterways over the holiday weekend carefully watching boaters. They’ll be looking for anyone operating under the influence of alcohol. Remember, in Georgia, the law requires children 13 and under wear life jackets on boats, while in Alabama that age is 8 and under. However, rangers suggest people of all ages wear them to stay safe.