Life jackets save lives.
Boaters are asked to post photos of themselves wearing their life vests for a chance to win prizes as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers WEAR IT to Win it campaign.
“We’re wanting to promote the use of life jackets any time that you’re in, on or near the water,” said Tracy Robillard, a spokeswoman for the corps’ Savannah District. “So we’re asking people to share their photos with us on social media to get people excited about wearing their life jackets.”
Those enjoying Georgia waterways including Clarks Hill Lake, the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal are asked to post photos of themselves wearing life jackets on the corps’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/savannahcorps and Twitter feed @SavannahCorps.
The photo that best illustrates the water safety message will be chosen weekly to receive a prize to include a free one-night campsite reservation, a one-day picnic shelter reservation or a day-use pass for Hartwell or Clarks Hill Lake. Winners also will receive a free Type IV boat throw cushion and a distress whistle.
Robillard said they want to see folks wearing life jackets with all buckles buckled, everyone in the picture wearing life vests and having the kill switch attached to the vest.
“Those are the kinds of things we’re looking for,” Robillard said.
Wearing life jackets is the easiest lifesaving measure that boaters and others enjoying the water can take, said Capt. Mark Padgett, of the local Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.
The law states children 12 and under must wear a life jacket in any moving water vessel, including motorized boats and personal watercraft, along with canoes and kayaks. There must be life jackets for everyone 13 and over on the boat.
“They must have enough wearable life jackets for everybody on board of appropriate size and in good condition,” Padgett said, adding that a throwable square cushion also is required in case someone is in trouble in the water. “That square cushion throws easier and is easier to grab.”
Robillard said that life jackets save lives and that nine out of 10 people who drown in corps water were not wearing a life vest.
“It’s always a tragedy when someone goes for a fun day at the lake with their family but they never come home,” Robillard said. “This is one easy thing everybody can do to save a life. Wear your life jacket.”