Get Ready to Participate in “Ready, Set, Wear It!”

It’s easy to become complacent about wearing your life jacket, especially when you spend so much time aboard, but this annual event is a great reminder about this basic safety measure.

With summer almost here, families and friends are eager to get outdoors and spend time on the water – boating, fishing, sailing and more. But, with approximately 500 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative to push the message of “Wear It!”: wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite boating safety professionals, the boating community and the media to participate in “Ready, Set, Wear It!” on Saturday, May 19. Participants in cities around the globe will gather to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated.

The goal is not only to promote the comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets, but also to educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general. “Ready, Set, Wear It!,” previously named “Ready, Set, Inflate!,” will usher in National Safe Boating Week, this year May 19-25, 2012. Boating safety partners across the U.S. and Canada are teaming up to promote safe and responsible boating, including voluntary wear of life jackets, for National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season.

“What better way to share the life-saving importance of life jacket wear, while having some fun and helping set a world record,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “We are proud to once again partner with the Canadian Safe Boating Council to share about boating safety.”

Last year, 1,685 people gathered at more than 99 events held around the world to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket. People interested in organizing an event worldwide can visit www.ReadySetWearIt.com.

The success of “Ready, Set, Wear It!” depends on local sponsors and partners. Leland, Ltd. and iSi Components have worked with the NSBC to offer over 1,000 CO2 cartridges to allow participants the opportunity to inflate their life jacket, but also practice re-arming techniques of inflatable life jackets. Marine retail sponsors Cabela’s and West Marine offered their locations for event organizers throughout the country.

“There’s no reason why you, your family and friends, can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket,” said Jean Murray, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “This event is educational and fun for boating enthusiasts, families, and the general public to enjoy!”

The National Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Safe Boating Council hope to not only set another world record and surpass 2011′s participants, but, most importantly, educate the boating public about the comfort and accessibility of inflatable life jackets.

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