[OSMB-News] News Release
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Thu May 4 13:35:27 PDT 2006
For Immediate Release Date: Thursday, May 4, 2006
Personal Flotation Devices Save Lives
Salem Ore. - As the boating season launches, the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) encourages boaters of all skill levels to use their personal flotation devices (PFD) -life jackets- while on the water.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2004, 70 percent of the nation's boating accident fatalities resulted from drowning. Of those who drowned, 90 percent were not wearing a personal flotation device.
"The use of a PFD is critical for every person onboard," said Ashley Massey, OSMB public affairs specialist. "This is especially true in Oregon because the cold temperature of the water can affect even the most skilled swimmer."
And in fact, one of the state's police officers experienced the life-saving affects of a personal flotation device.
As an Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife trooper, Craig Ball is highly trained in boating safety and survival. While Ball was patrolling the North Santiam River in a drift boat, and the boat became hung up on a large rock while in a shallow portion of the river. The river's current spun the boat around, dislodging the boat only to pin it against yet another rock. The combination of the impact and fast water caused the boat's weight to shift, quickly capsizing it.
Ball was thrown from the boat, and due to the heavy gear he was wearing, sank to the bottom of the river. Focusing on survival, Ball pulled the ripcord on his inflatable PFD; it inflated as designed and sent him to the surface where he was able to make it back to shore.
"Everything happened in an instant," said Ball. "With the cold water and sinking so fast, there's no way I would have made it without my life jacket."
According to Massey, unexpected accidents like the one Ball encountered occur every year during boating season. "Stories like officer Ball's say it clearly: Wear a PFD when boating. It can save your life."
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The Oregon State Marine Board was created in 1959 by the Oregon Legislature in response to
the growing popularity of recreational boating and the federal Boating Safety Act of 1958.
Headquartered in Salem, OSMB works to provide boaters with safety, education,
marine law enforcement, boating facilities and titling and registration services.
For more information visit www.BoatOregon.com.
Types of Personal Flotation Devices
Type I PFD: This offshore life jacket provides the most buoyancy. It is effective for all waters, including open, rough or remote waters. It is designed to turn most unconscious wearers in the water to a face-up position. The Type I comes in two sizes: adult and child and provides a minimum of 22 pounds and 11 pounds of buoyancy, respectively.
Type II PFD: This near-shore life jacket is intended for calm, inland water. This type will turn some unconscious wearers to a face-up position, but not as effectively as a Type I PFD. An adult size provides 15.5 pounds of buoyancy, a medium child size provides 11 pounds, and the infant and small child sizes both provide at least seven pounds.
Type III PFD: Like the Type II PFD, this life jacket is intended for calm, inland waters. It is designed so that wearer must put themselves in a face-up position. The Type III has the same buoyancy as a Type II PFD. Some Type III PFDs are designed to be inflated once entering the water.
Type IV PFD: This PFD is intended for calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic. It is designed to be thrown to a person in the water and held by the user until rescued. It is not designed to be worn. Type IV PFDs include buoyant cushions, ring buoys and horseshoe buoys.
Type V PFD: This life jacket is intended for specific activities and may be carried instead of another PFD if used according to the approved condition on the label. Some Type V PFDs are designed to provide hypothermia protection.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
More information about the OSMB-News