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This year National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22) emphasizes PFDs. The logo “WEAR IT!” is directed at the use of personal floatation devices, they are life savers.

Statistics show an increase in PFD use by fishermen and small vessel owners. Inflatable have become popular and are cited as a probable reason for the increase. There are a wide variety of inflatable PFDs. Try them on and discover how comfortable they are to wear.

Just having PFDs on your boat is not good enough. At the beginning of each boating season, check their condition. Your PFDs should last for a number of years but when you see signs of wear remember the phrase, “when in doubt, throw it out.” Damaged or worn PFDs should be disposed of in a manner that avoids someone picking them up and unknowingly using them.

Many other items regarding safety on your boat should be checked; first aid kit, flares, fire extinguishers, all electronics and every other item that involves the seaworthiness of your vessel. Type in “Safe Boating Checklist” for guidance while preparing for this year’s boating season.

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