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Choose the right life jacket for your water sport

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Choose the right life jacket for your water sport

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Any kind of boating accident is not ideal, but one where someone needlessly is injured or dies because of insufficient floatation support is both tragic and unnecessary. Whenever you are engaging in water sports, choosing the right life jacket can not only help you stay safer in the water, it can help you have more fun.

According to the Coast Guard, nearly one-half of all boating fatalities happen calm waters, and far too often, they occur because life jackets are stowed on board a boat and not worn. There are many kinds of life jackets that may fit your particular needs.

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Types of Life Jackets

Automatic and manually inflatable jackets are an excellent choice for many people. These jackets either inflate upon contact with water or are manually inflated, and are very comfortable to wear. However, they do require regular maintenance. Vest-type life jackets are bulkier, but require less maintenance, and all three of these types of life jackets may turn an unconscious wearer face-up the water. While these are all excellent life jacket options for many people, they are not suitable for wearers under the age of 16. For those under the age of 16, consider a children’s life jacket or children’s hybrid inflatable.

Beyond these standard types of life jackets, there are many options, depending on the intended water sport activities. A vest-type floatation aid is a great low-maintenance option — perfect for water skiing and other high-impact sports. For the waterfowl hunters out there, mesh camouflaged vests and float coats can keep you safe while you hunt. Specialized vests are even available for fishermen and kayakers, and an offshore vest may help you not only stay afloat, but can ward off hypothermia.

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Boating and Life Jacket Safety

Regardless of how you plan to take to the water, it’s important to that you have a proper floatation device. However, even those who take proper precautions can be involved in serious accidents. If you have been involved in a boating accident, the assistance of an experienced attorney can help you explore options for recovery while protecting your rights.

Source: United States Coast Guard, “How to Choose the Right Life Jacket,” accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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