Experts stress importance of wearing life jackets while attempting to break world record

By KBJR News 1

May 17, 2014 Updated May 17, 2014 at 10:54 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - With summer finally in sight, many Northlanders are gearing up to spend some fun in the sun out on the water.

But before you head out onto the waves, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a message for you.

Today kicked off National Safe Boating week with "Ready, Set, Wear It!" at the Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth.

Guests were invited to don a life jacket and take part in an attempt to make history for most life jackets worn on a single day worldwide—just one of 189 similar events around the world.

Visitors learned how to properly fit a life jacket, along with swimming and boating safety.

Experts on boating safety say wearing a life jacket is the best way to avoid unnecessary risks.

"The fact that we have rip currents; that the water's as cold as it is," listed Flotilla Commander Diane Martinek, "so it's really important for us to stress this is a beautiful area, but we want you to be safe when you're here."

"For children especially, have life jackets because it is the law," said USCG Auxiliary Steve Farrell, "and if you get caught out there without one for one of your children, it's liable to cost you some money."

By the way, the number to beat to set the record for most life jackets worn in a day is five–thousand seven hundred and seventy–four.

Al Skomars