Park Officials Urge Life Jacket Safety in Cold Water

Fall may not be the season you’d expect to hear a life jacket safety message but state park officials have good reason for sharing. Around 50 percent of cold water boating accidents that result in water exposure are fatal. “Cold water can turn a seemingly fine situation into a disaster,” Utah State Parks Boating Program Coordinator Ty Hunter shares. “Cold water immersion causes panic and decreases a person’s ability to swim or stay afloat. Someone who is typically a strong and confident swimmer can be impacted very quickly. If they aren’t wearing a life jacket, that can mean serious trouble.” As a result, state park officials recommend all water recreators wear their life jackets when heading out on the water. In fact, 80 percent of people who drowned in boating accidents would have survived had they been wearing a life jacket. “Life jackets save lives, period,” Hunter continues. “Following that simple step, as well as these additional safety tips can help you make it home safely. There are multiple types of life jackets available for almost any water activity — boating, water skiing, paddle boarding, and even auto inflate jackets that are great for hunters and fishermen.” 


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