Keeping Safe on the Water: National Safe Boating Week

By KBJR News 1

May 22, 2011 Updated May 22, 2011 at 10:46 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- National Safe Boating Week began yesterday and Northland boating experts started spreading the word in several locations.

Dave Anderson brings us the safety message they're preaching.

Steve Farrell's been a hard core boater for years.

This weekend, the Coast Guard Auxiliarist spent time at the Izaak Walton League Youth Outdoor Expo telling sea stories to kids.
One of those tales wasn't that old.

"The kayaker that recently flipped over outside of Fitger's Inn and how the life jacket helped save him."

Last week, a kayaker indeed found out how fickle Lake Superior can be to those who venture on her.

Farrell says the kayaker appeared to be suffering from hypothermia after a half hour in the water and may not have made it without the life jacket.

His lessons on their proper use were part of the kick off for National Safe Boating Week 2011.

"If you wear a life jacket you don't die in the water. They'll save you. You'll float."

These kids attended a life jacket session at the Marine Museum put on by the Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Some of the children found their training vests were too small.
That was part of the lesson.

"Basically, you want one a kid will wear. That's the most important thing. It has to fit. That's the primary thing. There is different flotation for different size children."

Farrell says small kids need a strap between the legs to keep the jacket from floating off.

Infant jackets need a retrieving strap to haul them back aboard.
The kids at Hartley and the Marine Museum found that out the easy way without having to be in Lake Superior's frigid water.

"It'll save my life if I drown!"

"Wear your life jacket!"

National Safe Boating Week began on Saturday and will last through next Sunday.