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Safe boating week emphasizes lifesaving accessory

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Posted at 3:15 PM, May 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-20 15:15:00-04

WASHINGTON, D. C. (WTXL) -- In advance of the increase in boating excursions typically experienced as the Memorial Day weekend and summer vacation season approach, The National Safe Boating Council is urging recreation enthusiasts to carry an additional piece of attire when cruising over the waters.

National Safe Boating Week starts this week as part of a lengthy campaign to raise awareness of safety measures to practice while boating, and to promote the use of life jackets.

However, the council states, it's not good enough to simply have life jackets stowed on a boat.  Riders can achieve maximum safety by wearing it.

“Accidents on the water happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” said John Johnson, chief executive officer of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in a statement released by the NSBC. “It’s important that everyone consistently wears a life jacket while on the water and always boats responsibly.” 

The U.S. Coast Guard reported 58 deaths in Florida from boating accidents in 2013 out of 685 total accidents.  Both figures rank the highest in the nation.  Georgia ranked ninth, with 16 boating deaths last year.