Every life jacket rescue a cause for hope

Life jackets can be the deciding factor between life and death
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Is the safety campaign on life jackets working? One will only know when enough time has passed and the statistics show the results, but every rescue where the sailors were wearing life jackets is cause for hope. This week the US Coast Guard rescued two in Lake Ontario from a sinking boat - and as both were wearing life jackets there were no casualties.

A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sodus Point, N.Y., rescued two people from a vessel taking on water in Lake Ontario, Saturday evening.

Both individuals were wearing life jackets, and there were no reported injuries. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Sodus Point received notification of a 17-foot pleasure craft taking on water near Ginna Nuclear Power Plant from the local sheriff’s department at about 7:50 p.m.

A rescue boatcrew from Station Sodus Point, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, recovered both individuals from the semi-submerged vessel.

Personnel from the local police department arrived and towed the vessel to the Bear Creek boat launch.

Life jackets do save lives. Drowning is the leading cause of death in boating-related mishaps. Most boating fatalities are the result of unexpected falls overboard, either while a vessel is underway or drifting. Of those who drown, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket helps ensure a boater stays afloat so they can either self-rescue or be rescued by other boaters in the area.

The other prime safety device:

As additional safety measures, all mariners are also encouraged to invest in a VHF-FM marine-band radio as their primary means of communication on the water.

While VHF-FM marine-band radios have been for so long the primary method of communication, particularly for distress situations, cell phones have crept in of recent times as a cheaper substitute. However, radios are far more reliable than cells phones in the marine environment and all sailors are urged to have one and keep it in good working order. Channel 16 is the international hailing and distress frequency, and if you are in an area where you may not be heard, make sure you are aware of the repeater frequencies.