The Nevada Department of Wildlife today announced participation in the national "Ready, Set, Wear It!" life jacket campaign in an event scheduled for Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at Cabela’s in Reno.
NDOW and the local Coast Guard Auxiliary are joining participants around the globe to raise awareness of life jackets, including technologically advanced inflatable life jackets, while also attempting to set a new world record for the most life jackets worn and inflated.
The annual event was created by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC). It serves as the kick-off to National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24, the official launch of the 2013 North American Safe Boating Campaign. Educating the boating public about the safety and comfort of inflatable life jackets is the goal of the North American Safe Boating Campaign.
"This national event is a great opportunity to talk about life jackets in our local area," said Game Warden Captain David Pfiffner, NDOW’s boating law administrator. "On average, five people a year die in Nevada from boating accidents, and the vast majority of those people would have lived if they had only worn a life jacket. There simply is no better way to stay safe on the water."
Last year, 3,993 people gathered at more than 145 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who wore an inherently buoyant life jacket and inflated their inflatable life jacket, according the National Safe Boating Council.
Also as a precursor to the event, Friday is national "Wear a Life Jacket to Work Day." The National Safe Boating Council encourages businesses of all kinds to wear a comfortable, inflatable life jacket to work to raise awareness of safety. According to NDOW, any business can promote life jackets. For example, Scott Briggs and Bill Cannan from the Razors Edge Barber Shop in Sparks have agreed to wear life jackets all day on Friday.
The National Safe Boating Council is asking all participants to take a picture of themselves in their life jacket while at work and post it to the "Ready, Set, Wear It!" Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/ReadySetWearIt) or submit directly to the NSBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Wearing an inflatable life jacket to work is a fun way to show people just how far the technology has advanced," said Fred Messmann, Deputy Director of the National Safe Boating Council. "I’m tickled that my local barber shop and other businesses in Reno have signed up to be a part of this great program."
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 70% of recreational boating fatalities in 2011, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. Members of the boating public as well as those interested in showing the wearability of life jackets are encouraged to participate. More information about the event and safe boating is available at www.Facebook.com/ReadySetWearIt.
Boaters can learn more about Nevada’s specific safe boating programs or take a boating education course online at the NDOW website www.ndow.org.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.