But most water related injuries and deaths could have been prevented through use of flotation devices
OF BOATING FATALITIES, FLOTATION
DEVICES WERE NOT BEING WORN
In 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,064 accidents that involved 610 deaths and 2,678 injuries. Where the cause of death was known, 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims, 84% were not wearing a personal flotation device. Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
Source:Recreational Boating Statistics United States Coast Guard
IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF INJURY DEATH
FOR KIDS BEHIND AUTO ACCIDENTS
In the United States alone, over 300 children die each year and about 3,000 children are taken to emergency rooms from drowning. Even nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities. Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle accidents.
Source:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO DROWN THAN
FEMALES OF THE SAME AGE GROUP
Males are especially at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. They are also more likely to be hospitalized than females for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning rates among males are due to increased exposure to water and riskier behavior. More than half of 13 to 17-year-old victims are not with adults when they drowned.
Source: World Health Organization
PARTICIPANTS ARE MORE THAN TWICE AS
LIKELY TO DROWN THAN BOAT OPERATORS
Paddlesports such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding represent the fastest-growing segment of the boating market. With this popularity there has been a growing number of recorded accidents and deaths. Life jacket wear for paddlesports is one of the hottest topics in the recreational boating world, with wide discussions about what type of flotation devices are best suited for these active adventurers.
Is anyone listening?
New lightweight PFDs and youth inflatables need to be approved for recreational boating and paddlesports in North America, so that people have a more comfortable solution for safety.
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Is enough being done? In an official resolution to the US Coast Guard in 2011, the NATIONAL BOATING SAFETY ADVISORY COUNCIL requested swift initiatives aimed at streamlining the life jacket testing and approval processes, to support innovation and creativity in life jacket design and technology, and to allow improved life jacket models to reach the consumer quicker and easier. Wouldn’t you agree this should be a top priority?