[OSMB-News] News Release -Kids Learn Boating and Water Safety at the Portland Boat Show
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Thu Dec 28 10:53:41 PST 2006
For Immediate Release Date: Thursday, December 28, 2006
Kids Learn Boating and Water Safety at the Portland Boat Show
For the second year in a row, the Portland Boat Show will host the Lifejackets for Juniors Program where free life jackets will be given away to children 12 and under. Children will learn key water safety skills through hands-on activities, provided by the Oregon State Marine Board.
The PFD Charitable Foundation -Keep Hope Afloat is providing 5,000 life jackets to kids attending the boat show (while supplies last). The Foundation was created for two specific reasons: Oregon law mandates children 12 and under must wear a U. S. Coast Guard -approved life jacket at all times when on an open deck or cockpit of a vessel that is underway or being towed; and, water related deaths and injuries are preventable if children wear life jackets when they are in or around the water. The Foundation conducts fundraising throughout the year in order to purchase life jackets. These life jackets are then given to children during public events.
At the Portland Boat Show, children will take part in three activities focusing on boating safety: why it's important to wear a properly fitting life jacket; how to enter and exit an unstable boat and what to do if the boat capsizes; and basic rescue techniques highlighting why you don't jump into the water to rescue someone. The goal is for the child to understand the importance of wearing a life jacket and to feel comfortable on the water. All of the activities are fun and interactive. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children through the activities. Marine Board staff and other volunteers will also be available to answer any questions parents have during the activities.
The Portland Boat Show is also hosting a new program -The PFD Exchange. Boaters can bring their used, outgrown or unserviceable (broken straps, rips, tears, etc.) life jackets to the show for a tax-deductible donation. Coast Guard personnel will be on hand to determine which life jackets can be discarded and which ones can be recertified for use in statewide PFD (Personal Flotation Devices) loaner programs.
"Many water related fatalities are preventable if people wear life jackets," says Ashley Massey, Public Affairs Specialist for the Marine Board. "Life jackets help keep your head above the water and will help keep you warm, a little longer." In 2006, 19 boating related fatalities occurred and 85 percent were not wearing life jackets. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the entire family to learn water safety, have fun, and kick off the 2007 boating season with new life jackets for their kids," Massey adds.
Mustang Survival will also be at the Boat Show to answer questions for parents and demonstrate the latest in life jacket technology. Visit www.mustangsurvival.com for more info.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
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