May 19, 2021
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and its partners in safe boating throughout the nation encourage everyone to help spread awareness of boating safety by wearing their life jacket to work May 21.
“Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” is an annual event, hosted by the National Safe Boating Council. The annual event is a great way to grab attention as well as demonstrate how far the comfort of modern life jackets has progressed.
Social media offers a great way to show your support of safe boating in The Natural State. Take a picture of yourself or loved ones wearing your life jacket during your daily activities and post it to the AGFC’s Facebook Page or tweet the picture with the hashtag #lifejacket2work to join in on the fun.
According to Capt. Stephanie Weatherington, Boating Law Administrator for the AGFC, wearing a working, properly fitting life jacket is the number one thing people can do to prevent a fatality in the event of a boating accident.
In 2020, the number of boating accidents doubled from the previous year, primarily from the increase in boating and outdoor recreation seen during COVID-19. The number of boating fatalities increased as well, but not by as large a margin. Out of 75 reported boating accidents causing an estimated $297,274 and 35 injuries requiring medical attention beyond first aid, only 13 resulted in death. However drowning was the cause of death in all fatalities.
According to the AGFC’s 2020 Boating Accident Year-End Report, life jacket awareness is on the rise, and programs like Wear your Lifejacket to Work Day help with that effort.
On a national scale, U.S. Coast Guard statistics show approximately 86 percent of those who drowned in 2019 were not wearing life jackets. Visit https://safeboatingcampaign.com for more information on this and other efforts to keep our waters safe.