Friday, April 13, 2012

Ready, Set, Wear It! Life Jacket World Record Day to Kick Off National Safe Boating Week

Life jacket wear is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating.

With summer almost here, families and friends are eager to get outdoors and spend time on the water—boating, fishing, sailing and more. But, with approximately 500 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative to push Wear It! message: Wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite boating safety professionals, the boating community and the media to participate in Ready, Set, Wear It! on Saturday, May 19. Participants in cities around the globe will gather to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated. The goal is not only to promote the comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets, but also to educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general.

Ready, Set, Wear It!, previously named Ready, Set, Inflate!, will usher in National Safe Boating Week, this year May 19-25, 2012. Boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada are teaming up to promote safe and responsible boating, including voluntary wear of life jackets, for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season.

“What better way to share the life-saving importance of life jacket wear, while having some fun and helping set a world record,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “We are proud to once again partner with the Canadian Safe Boating Council to share about boating safety.”

Last year, 1,685 people gathered at more than 99 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket.

People interested in organizing an event worldwide can visit www.ReadySetWearIt.com. The website has answers to frequently asked questions, event day checklists, locating an event, general information about life jacket wear, and a special section for the media to use footage and materials from past events.

The success of Ready, Set, Wear It! depends on local sponsors and partners. Leland, Ltd. and iSi Components have worked with the NSBC to offer over 1,000 CO2 cartridges to allow participants the opportunity to inflate their life jacket, but also practice re-arming techniques of inflatable life jackets. Marine retail sponsors Cabela’s and West Marine offered their locations for event organizers throughout the country. For a list of all the 2012 sponsors, please visit the website.

“There’s no reason why you, your family and friends, can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket,” said Jean Murray, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “This event is educational and fun for boating enthusiasts, families, and the general public to enjoy!”

To ensure an accurate count from each location, all organizers are asked to record their event through photographs or video as well as a sign-up sheet. After the event numbers are tallied, the total number of participants is posted to the website.

The National Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Safe Boating Council hope to not only set another world record and surpass 2011’s participants, but, most importantly, educate the boating public about the comfort and accessibility of inflatable life jackets. Throughout the year, the North American Safe Boating Campaign focuses on the goal of educating the public about safe boating and life jacket wear, and relies on events like Ready, Set, Wear It! and National Safe Boating Week to bring more awareness to this life-saving cause. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, please visit www.ReadySetWearIt.com or www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com.