Friday, June 30, 2006

Just in time for July 4 – yet another lifejacket lecture...


(Photo source: http://www.mcaorals.co.uk)

Earlier this evening I heard a report on the scanner that a boat had flipped in Humboldt Bay. No further details were available.

My first thought was that if the boat was a small skiff or a sailboat, the occupants should be fine as long as the incident didn’t take place near the jetty. The bay is narrow, and if you’re wearing a lifejacket you should be able to swim to shore.

You’ll be cold, wet and miserable, but you will survive. Besides, if it’s light outside, there’s a good chance someone will see you and come to your aid.

But then I remembered the obvious – a lot of people don’t wear lifejackets.

That means all bets are off.

Year after year, journalists write the same stories over and over again.

Boats capsize and people die. The common factor among the victims is that they weren’t wearing lifejackets.

I’ve written these stories myself. In most cases, the victims were strangers, but some I actually knew.

All the victims I wrote about would be alive today if they had worn lifejackets.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just cut to the chase – wear a lifejacket. When you spend $10,000 on a boat, why not set aside a couple hundred dollars and buy some really nice lifejackets? Heck, I even grant you permission to be frivolous and buy several jackets so you can color coordinate. Slap some bling-bling on your lady’s lifejacket and if you’ve got kids, adorn the jackets with whatever cartoon characters are fashionable at the moment.

You can flat-out bribe people to wear their lifejackets. If worse comes to worse, pull out your rusty bait knife and threaten them with bodily harm. Say something like “Put on that lifejacket or I’ll carve out your eyeball with my rusty blade.”

They’ll get the point, and you may save their lives.

Oh, and don't forget to eat your vegetables, wear your seatbelt, wash your hands and, if you sleep curled up with a shotgun, make sure the trigger lock is on.

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