As the boating season begins, wearing a life jacket is key to boating safely in the Buckeye State, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The sun may be shining outside, but the water temperatures are still cold.
Ohio will kick off National Safe Boating Week, which is held May 19-25.
"While out on the water, people need to wear their life jackets instead of just having them close by on the boat," said ODNR Director James Zehringer. "If an accident occurs and you suddenly end up overboard, a life jacket will keep your head above water and could save your life."
ODNR is celebrating National Safe Boating Week by hosting six "Ready, Set, Wear It!" life jacket safety awareness events in Kent, Concord Township, Springfield, Bethel, Lake Milton and West Portsmouth on Saturday, May 19.
The eighth annual "Ready, Set, Wear It!" Life Jacket World Record Days will be held on May 19; Saturday, June 9; Saturday, July 7; and Saturday, Aug. 11. The goal is to educate the public about the importance of wearing life jackets and safe boating for all ages throughout the summer.
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 19, June 9, July 7 and Aug. 11. 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.
Ohio boating groups will host events at various venues around the state where boating safety experts will register participants, conduct life jacket safety talks, fit participants for life jackets, stage a countdown and coordinate a group photo.
More Ohio events can be found at safeboatingcampaign.com/ready-set-wear-it/find-an-event. If people would like to host their own "Ready, Set, Wear It!" event, there is still time to register at safeboatingcampaign.com/ready-set-wear-it/register-an-event. Additional information on life jacket safety is available from the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/lifejackets.
"Ready, Set, Wear It!" is about raising awareness about the importance of wearing a life jacket.
In 2015, history was made when 10,917 participants at 257 events around the world participated in this fun and educational world record event. Then in 2016 and 2017, the event was just shy of breaking this world record. More than 45,500 people around the world have participated in this fun and educational boating safety event since 2010.
For more information about the National Safe Boating Council, visit safeboatingcouncil.org.