Life Jackets are Essential Safety Gear for Every Boater:

Article Posted: May 14, 2014

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Life Jackets are Essential Safety Gear for Every Boater

Ohio kicks off National Safe Boating Week May 17-23
COLUMBUS, OH – As the boating season begins, the sun may be shining, but the water temperatures are still cold, making it more important than ever for Ohioans to wear their life jackets. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will kick off National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23, by holding nine “Ready, Set, Wear It!” life jacket safety awareness events at eight Ohio State Park marinas and the Cabela’s store in Columbus.

“Don’t just have your life jacket close by, wear it,” said Gary Obermiller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “If an accident occurs and you suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will keep your head above water and could save your life.”

The fifth annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” Life Jacket World Record Day will be held on Saturday, May 17. The goal is to educate the public about the importance of wearing life jackets and safe boating for all ages. Each event will also showcase the comfortable and versatile options available in today’s modern life jackets.

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite the boating community, the general public and the media to participate in “Ready, Set, Wear It!” on May 17. Participating cities throughout Ohio, and around the globe, will gather to attempt to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated.

Headlining the series is the “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event with Cabela’s on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., which will include various boating-related activities at the Columbus Cabela’s store. This free family event is open to the public and hosted by Cabela’s in partnership with the ODNR Division of Watercraft and their local boating partners.

Ohio State Parks will host events at various state park marinas around the state where watercraft officers will register participants, conduct a life jacket safety talk, fit participants for life jackets, stage a countdown and coordinate a group photo from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

More Ohio events can be found at If people would like to host their own “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event, there is still time to register at

Last year, 5,747 people gathered at nearly 200 events held around the world, including Ohio, to set a new record for the number of participants who inflated their inflatable life jacket or wore an inherently buoyant life jacket. According to the National Safe Boating Council, Ohio had the highest participation rate in the nation, with 897 total participants attending one of 16 events around the state. Ohio also hosted the largest U.S. event last year at Stillwater Prairie Reserve, sponsored by the Miami County Park District, with 408 participants.

Additional information on life jacket safety is available from the ODNR Division of Watercraft at For more information about the National Safe Boating Council, visit

“Ready, Set, Wear It!” events will occur on Saturday, May 17, at the following state park marinas:

Alum Creek State Park
Buck Creek State Park
Cowan Lake State Park
Delaware State Park
East Harbor State Park
Geneva State Park
Hueston Woods State Park
West Branch State Park
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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