Six Involved In Great Lakes Boating Accidents Saved Thanks To Life Jackets

By KBJR News 1

June 10, 2012 Updated Jun 10, 2012 at 11:15 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter)---Temperatures are up and boats are out around the Northland and the nation.

Several boating accidents happened on the Great Lakes this weekend but all had happy endings.

Coast Guard 9th District Headquarters in Cleveland reports that there were three boating accidents on the Great Lakes this weekend from upstate New York to Green Bay.

All six people involved were saved thanks to life jackets.

The message that life jackets save lives was spread in the Northland this weekend by the U.S. Power Squadron as they performed Vessel Safety Checks.

"Life jackets, one for every person plus a throwable device also and they have to be readily available in their boats," Dave Carlson of the U.S. Power Squadron said.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary also performs vessel safety checks and they also stress the importance of wearing life jackets at all times rather than just having them accessible.

Northland Auxiliarists this year recruited country singer Hank Williams Junior to help spread the word.

"Drowning is the largest cause of boating fatalities," Williams said. "Drowning victims are rarely found in life jackets."

According to Coast Guard statistics, 533 Americans died in boating accidents in 2011.

Eighty-four percent were not wearing life jackets adding credence to Hank Williams plea.

"Remember, they float, you don't so please wear it," Williams said.
Next Saturday, the Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary will join together at Barker's Island to do vessel safety checks.

The event starts at 9 a.m.

Written By: Dave Anderson