According to the USCG, 80% of all canoe and 46% of all kayak fatalities are due to not wearing a life jacket. Weather, water temperatures, watercraft traffic, and your preparedness all contribute to the outcome of your safety even during low-intensity water activities. All of these factors can lead to your canoe or kayak capsizing.
- There were 449 fatal drowning incidents 356 of which were not wearing a life jacket.
- There were 120 canoe/kayak injuries reported and 248 canoe/kayak casualties reported. 109 of which were attributed to drowning.
- Only 27% of those operating a canoe wore life jackets.
- The 2018 average life jacket wear rate (excluding PWCs) was 19.9%.
The USCG provides a plethora of reasons you should always wear a life jacket, but one thing to always keep in mind is that accidents can happen anywhere at any time. You can control the actions that keep you safe, but you cannot control external factors. Wearing a life jacket drastically increases your chances of coming home safely.
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