Boating and Water Safety Officials Predict
Dangerous Summer Season for Water Recreationists
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Today, boating and water safety officials held a press conference in Sacramento to warn water enthusiasts to take precautions this summer. This year’s abundant snowfall and spring snowmelt will result in high, swift and cold river flows which create dangerous conditions for all recreationists – waders, swimmers, paddlers, boaters, anglers and even hikers cooling off at the water’s edge.
Speakers from the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), Sacramento City Police Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard shared information on how to improve the chances of an accidental water immersion, pool safety, life jackets laws and the importance of parental supervision. A water rescue demonstration was also held to show proper self rescue positions.
Last year, 570 recreational boating accidents occurred in California that involved 283 injuries and 49 fatalities. Approximately 75% of the drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Officials stressed that knowing how to swim does not make swimmers drown-proof. A properly fitted life jacket significantly increases the chances of surviving a boating accident. A life jacket can also provide some thermal protection against the onset of hypothermia and keep you afloat until someone else can rescue you.
A number of DBW boating safety programs encouraging life jacket use will be taking place this summer starting with a life jacket trade-in. This event will take place this Friday, May 27 from 4-6 p.m. at select Kohl’s Department Store locations in Sacramento, and from 1-3 p.m. at Sam’s Club locations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Water enthusiasts are invited to bring their life jackets for inspection by water safety professionals. If a life jacket is found to be outgrown or unserviceable, a new, properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket will be given in exchange. Life jackets will be available at each site while supplies last. Click here for a list of locations.
DBW has also partnered with fire stations across California and the CSU Sacramento Aquatic Center to make life jackets available for the public to loan. An individual or family can check out life jackets for a day or a weekend simply by completing a loan form. Click here for a list of locations.
For more information about life jackets or boating laws, please visit DBW’s Web site.