LANGLEY - “Life jackets float, you don't,” and “It won't work if you don't wear it” are slogans that boaters will see a lot of this summer on Grand Lake.
The Grand River Dam Authority Lake Patrol and others use the phrases frequently to promote life jacket use.
This summer, a third slogan will be floating around as “I got caught wearing my life jacket” is being used to help the patrol in its efforts to remind boaters that life jackets save lives.
Last summer, the lake patrol began handing out T-shirts with the “I got caught” phrase to boaters who were caught doing the right thing - wearing their life jackets while boating. That program has continued this summer.
According to GRDA Law Enforcement Director Kenny Baker, the shirts are a simple way to promote an important cause.
“Those who are wearing their life jackets and making sure their children are wearing their life jackets are really setting an example of safe boating for everyone else on the water,” Baker said. “Don't underestimate the importance of a life jacket.”
Approximately 700 people drown each year from recreational boating accidents. However, that number could be much lower if boaters would simply take the time to buckle on a life jacket, said Baker.
To help educate boaters about life jackets, the GRDA Lake Patrol also offers the following tips. Keep them in mind when you visit Grand or Hudson lakes over the Fourth of July holiday, and all summer long.
Oklahoma boating laws, along with GRDA lake rules, require children age 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times on the water.
Aditionally, lake officials note the following:
€ All boats must have personal flotation devices for all persons on board.
€ Boaters should purchase a personal life jacket and wear it.
€ Lake officials suggest that boaters look at the life jacket label which provides weight, size and use information.
€ When a life jacket fits properly. It will not slip off.
€ Water toys should not be used in place of an approved life jacket.
€ Jackets should be checked yearly for fit and floatation.
Anyone with questions regarding life jackets, lake rules or other lake safety issues may contact the GRDA Lake Patrol at (918) 782 9594, or log on to www.grda.com.
The GRDA Lake Patrol office is located on the west end of Pensacola Dam.