Here is the story that ran in The Seattle Times about the death of a young boy Sunday (May 8) along with a 60-year-old man (who died last Saturday, May 7) in a sport shrimping boat that capsized over the weekend.
It is a sobering reminder that while the rules say anyone over age 12 isn’t required to wear a life jacket in an boat under 19 feet long, it might be wise for you (or everyone in the vessel for that matter) to wear one.
How do you feel about the life jacket regulation? Do you think life jackets should be required by all?
Story from The Seattle Times Local section:
The 13-year-old boy who was one of five people in a boat that capsized off Camano Island Saturday has died.
The King County Medical Examiner confirmed the death this afternoon.
There were four adults also in the boat and one of them, a 60-year-old man, died the day of the accident.
The five people were out shrimping in an 18-foot boat when it capsized in cold water about three miles off Camano Island.
Fishermen in nearby boats saved three of the adults from the overturned vessel in a harrowing rescue. The 13-year-old boy was under the boat when a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reached him and helped get him into a rescue boat, where he was given CPR.
The boy was then pulled up into a helicopter and taken to a Seattle hospital.
The boy was unconscious when he was rescued. He had been in the water for approximately 45 minutes, according to authorities.
No one in the boat was wearing a life jacket, according to the Coast Guard.
There were about 30 boats for shrimp in the area just south of Camano Head.
Also here is my story about boating safety that I blogged about less than two weeks ago:
As the weather begins to improve many will start getting their boats on the local waterways, and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Boating Program reminds boaters to be safe, know the law and always wear life jackets when boating.
Each year, a majority of boating deaths are a result of drowning, and a majority of these victims are not wearing life jackets.
Last year, there were 18 boating fatalities in Washington.
Reports have shown that many boating accidents are preventable, and by wearing a life jacket, boaters increase their chances of survival.
The Boating Program reminds boaters of the following laws and recommends these safety tips:
Wear approved life jackets: State law requires all vessels (including nonmotorized watercraft) carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board.
Additionally, vessels 16 feet or longer must have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved throwable personal flotation device aboard. Life jackets must be worn by those on personal watercraft (such as Jet Skis) and water skiers. Children ages 12 and younger must wear life jackets when aboard vessels less than 19 feet long.
Check life jackets: Ensure all life jackets are in good condition. Check for tears, wear and proper fit. Life jacket sizing is based on body weight and chest size, and children often grow out of their life jackets from season to season.
Life jacket loaner program: If boaters do not have the required number of life jackets aboard their vessels, life jackets are available for loan at many boat launches, marinas and state parks across Washington. These life jackets are available for the day or weekend use at no cost.
Boating clubs, public safety agencies and other civic organizations that are interested in establishing a life jacket loaner site at a public boat launch or marina should contact Washington State Parks at (360) 902-8555 for assistance. State Parks has limited funding to provide life jackets and materials at no cost to help establish a public loaner site in time for boating season.
The BoatUS Foundation also offers a life jacket loaner program. For more information visit the BoatUS website.
Marine law enforcement agencies around the state recognize that life jackets can and do save lives and many have adopted a zero-tolerance approach for boats without sufficient life jackets. A citation may be issued to the operator of a boat with too few life jackets on board.
For information about boating safety and the life jacket loaner program, visit online at Washington Parks Department website or call 360-902-8555.