Coast Guard Auxiliary promotes PFDs

SACRAMENTO – The Coast Guard Auxiliary has teamed up with the “Wear It!” life jacket campaign to promote the “Be a Survivor!” essay contest, the Auxiliary said in a press release Friday. The contest launches during National Safe Boating Week, which is next week, and continues through Labor Day.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary will distribute information on life jackets and the “Be a Survivor!” contest during Vessel Safety Checks beginning National Safe Boating Week and proceeding through Labor Day as part of the campaign effort.

“The ‘Be a Survivor!’ entry forms will have significant visibility, as they will also be distributed through West Marine, the contest co-sponsor,” said Rebecca Hall, a spokesperson for PCI Communications, which represents the National Safe Boating Council.

The initial focus of the collaboration between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the “Wear It!” campaign will be in states with the highest number of accidents and fatalities, which includes California, Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan, Louisiana, Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina and Missouri.

“Our goal is to get the message out nationwide that a life jacket on a boat is like a seat belt on a car – just wear it!” said Ed Sweeney, the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s public affairs department chief.

Contestants are encouraged to submit an original story (350-700 words) that describes how they or someone they love was saved by wearing a life jacket. Winning stories will encourage a “survivor’s attitude” by convincing others to wear their life jackets whenever they are out on the water.

All entries must be received no later than September 4, 2007.

Winners of the “Be a Survivor!” contest will be announced by October 15, 2007. Contestants will have the chance to win one of three prizes from West Marine and may also have their story published in a future edition of the National Safe Boating Council’s book, “Saved by the Jacket.”

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