Promoting life jacket safety should be a top priority

Catching up on my local news this weekend was sobering, as news broke of two different drownings within 24 hours of one another on the same lake, not very far from where I live.

The cases were widely different – one victim aged six years and the other sixty – but both had one harrowing similarity: neither victim was wearing a life jacket, according to authorities.

It doesn’t matter if the boat is near a dock or if you’re an expert swimmer. If you’re not wearing a life jacket, you’re putting yourself at mortal risk. As temperatures continue to drop, boating safety is even more important. The body experiences swimming failure in 3-30 minutes in cold water and true hypothermia sets in at 30. A life jacket could be the extra layer of warmth that saves your life.

You care about your customers more than for the profits they bring your business. For many of you, you view your customers as your family. Don’t let a tragedy of this magnitude befall your family. If your company is focused on “taking care of the customer,” this means taking care of them in all aspects of the recreation.

If you don’t already offer life jacket training courses, partner with a local organization or create your own life jacket safety course. Make sure to place extra emphasis on the importance of life jackets when boating in colder waters - cold water boating is any outing when the air and water temperature combined equal less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider making life jacket training mandatory with any boat delivery at your dealership.

Ultimately, you can’t make the decision for your customers, but you can instill them with as much knowledge as possible to help them make the right decisions. It could save their life.

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