With summer recreation season just around the corner, the Department of
May 2010 is Water Safety Month in Michigan and nationally, in an effort to remind people to follow some simple swimming safety tips, such as:
- Participate in swim lessons and water-safety classes.
- Never leave children unattended.
- Always keep basic lifesaving equipment nearby.
When it comes to boating, using lifesaving equipment – namely, always wearing a life jacket on the water – is critically important as well and could save hundreds of lives each year. The DNRE is getting that message out to boaters again this year through its “Wear It Michigan!” campaign.
“There’s no question that life jackets save lives. We want to make people aware of how important it is to be safe on the water, not just this one month, but throughout the year,” said Lt. Andrew Turner, boating law administrator for the DNRE’s Law Enforcement Division. “The changes to life-jacket designs, styles and comfort make wearing, not just carrying, life jackets easier than ever. In a boating emergency, you don’t want to have to search for a life jacket.”
More than 90 percent of the water fatalities recorded in Michigan could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing a life jacket, according to Turner.
A special team of DNRE conservation officers will be out on the water in various locations this summer, asking boaters to take the “Wear It!” pledge. Everyone who signs a pledge card will be entered in a weekly drawing to win a manual inflatable (Type III) life jacket with a “Wear It!” logo.
The “Wear It Michigan!” campaign schedule includes stops at Red Bull Air Races in Detroit June 5-6, Detroit River Days June 18-21, the Gold Cup Hydroplane Race in Detroit June 25-27, the Bayview Mackinaw Race in Port Huron July 16-17 and Quake on the Lake in Waterford July 17-18. For more information, visit www.wearitmichigan.com.
To learn more about Water Safety Month, visit www.watersafetymonth.org.