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"Wear It" to Kick Off National Safe Boating Week
Wear a properly fitting life jacket!
Wear a properly fitting life jacket!
Event brings awareness about life jacket wear and makes attempt at world record
 
What comes to mind when you think of safety?  A hard hat? Seat belt? Life jacket?  A life jacket is valuable safety gear; the hard part is actually getting people to wear one.  Nationwide, with close to 500 people drowning each year in recreational boating accidents,  more important than ever for people on the water to “Wear It.” 
           
The Oregon State Marine Board is hosting a “Ready, Set, Inflate! Wear It” event at the M. James Gleason Boat Ramp (formerly called the 42nd Street Boat Ramp) on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to create awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket.  The public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring their own life jackets –inflatable or traditional Type I, II, III or V styles, and participate in “the most people wearing life jackets at the same time,” world-record attempt.   The official count-down begins at noon when people will be asked to deploy their inflatable life jackets or don a traditional life jacket.  An official tally and photo will be taken for submission to the National Safe Boating Council.
           
The event will highlight members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Multnomah County River Patrol, Portland Fire and Rescue and other boating safety advocates who will provide activities and boat tours.  Participants will have a chance to enter/exit an unstable boat, learn how to rescue someone in distress, and try on a variety of different life jackets.              
           
In 2010, 12 Oregon boaters lost their lives and 11 of those boaters were not wearing a life jacket.  Nationwide, the statistic ranges between 85-90% of recreational boating fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket. 
           
The Oregon State Marine Board has produced several public service announcements using real survivor stories about the importance of wearing a life jacket.  In 2009, Jennifer survived white water rapids when she unexpectedly capsized and was so disoriented that she was unable to stay calm.  She credits wearing her life jacket with saving her life.  To hear Jennifer’s story and other survivor’s visit the Marine Board’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/MarineBoard?feature=mhum.
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Ready, Set, Inflate Event Flyer
    
Official Media Advisory -Bring the whole family!
 
Event Flyer