Boating Safety: Life Jackets - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boating Safety: Life Jackets

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NBCRightNow.com - According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 84% of people who drowned in Washington last year were NOT wearing life jackets.  The way to prevent an accident on the water is simple...wear a life jacket!

This week is National Safe Boating week and Governor Jay Inslee has launched the "Wear It Washington" campaign encouraging all boaters to wear a life jacket.

According to Don Kidder of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 85, wearing a life jacket whether you're on or just off of your boat is a must.  "You must have one wearable PFD (personal flotation device) for each person on-board," say Kidder.

There are four different types of PFDs: Type I, II, III and IV.

Type I: Floats in the water and keeps you face-up, in case you're unconscious.  Meant to be worn for a long period of time in the water.

Type II: The "classic" PFD that is designed to keep you afloat for a shorter period of time than a Type I.  It's less bulky as well.

Type III: Considered to be the most comfortable but will not keep you face-up in the water.  Meant to be used in calm water.

Type IV: A PFD that is thrown to a person in the water.  They come in either seat cushion form, or ring form.  They are NOT meant to be worn.

If you intend to operate a boat and are over the age of 12, you MUST have a Boater Education card.

Kidder is teaching a class on June 15th at Columbia Basin College and it's free to attend.

If you're interested in taking the class to get your card, you can email Don at dkidder126@aol.com

For more information on boating safety, click here.

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