There are a few great reasons to share this link. One is the timely mention about cleaning life jackets as associated with Covid 19. Cleaning life jackets makes them last longer. One of the better cleaning agents is Dawn or Dreft. Being gentle is a good approach.
The second is to remind all boaters regardless how well we swim to wear a life jacket as we get started with launching our boats, performing sea trials or chasing spring fish. Just a few a weeks ago (April 2020) we lost a local female boater and almost her husband who tried to save her. He was hospitalized and we are not sure of the outcome for him but if he lived we are sure he is suffering the loss of his wife. Admittedly we don’t have the specific facts about the mishap. We can easily glean based on historic information that neither boater was wearing a life jacket and both were likely affected by the cold water temps and couldn’t swim. These are all too common stories and they don’t have to end this way. Had they been wearing life jackets they both would likely have survived.
The surface water temp has been as warm as high 60’s while we have been fishing but just a few inches below the surface the temperature is considerably lower. Low enough that the initial shock of plummeting into the water would cause someone to gasp for air, take in water instead, and drown. If one didn’t take in water, muscles don’t work as well when they are in 40-50 degree water below the surface.
As boating season comes upon us remember that hypothermia contributes to drowning but life jackets can prevent a fatality. As always, contact Matthew Murphy if you need assistance or have questions for safety practices on the water.