COLUMBUS – It’s a message that can’t be shared enough — wearing a life jacket is critical to keep Ohioans safe while boating, according to ODNR officials.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will kick off National Safe Boating Week, May 21-27, by holding five “Ready, Set, Wear It!” life jacket safety awareness events. The events are scheduled to take place at The Marina at Caesar Creek State Park, the North Royalton Fire Department, the West Marine Port Clinton store, Toledo’s Side Cut Metropark and the Field & Stream Polaris store in Columbus.
“For a life jacket to save a life, a person has to be wearing it, plain and simple. Wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to stay alive when things go wrong on the water,” said Mike Miller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “If an accident occurs and people suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will keep their heads above water and could save a life. Don’t just have your life jacket close by, wear it!”
The seventh annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” Life Jacket World Record Day will be held on Saturday, May 21. The goal is to educate the public about the importance of wearing life jackets and safe boating for all ages. Each event will also showcase the comfortable and versatile options available in today’s modern life jackets.
The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invites the boating community, the general public and the media to participate in “Ready, Set, Wear It!” on May 21. Participating cities throughout Ohio and around the globe will gather to attempt to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated.
Headlining the series is the “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event hosted by Field & Stream in partnership with the ODNR Division of Watercraft on Saturday, May 21, from 12–4 p.m., which will include various boating-related activities at the Field & Stream Polaris store. This free family event is open to the public. Participants will have the opportunity to ride a personal watercraft simulator, try on the latest styles of life jackets and enter to win a Field & Stream gift card.
Last year, 10,917 people gathered at over 250 events held around the world, including Ohio, to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket. According to the National Safe Boating Council, Ohio had the second highest participation rate in the nation, with 518 total participants attending one of 14 events around the state.
Ohio boating groups will host events at various venues around the state where boating safety experts will register participants, conduct life jacket safety talks, fit participants for life jackets, stage a countdown and coordinate a group photo.
More Ohio events can be found at http://www.readysetwearit.com/join-event/usa-events/. If people would like to host their own “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event, there is still time to register at ReadySetWearIt.com.
Additional information on life jacket safety is available from the ODNR Division of Watercraft at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov. For more information about the National Safe Boating Council, visit safeboatingcouncil.org.