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I'm Your Life Jacket, But You Don't Know Me

Maybe National Safe Boating Week (May 17 Ė 23) will help remind everyone that Iím here for you?

You think you may know me, but you really donít. Because the law says you have to keep me aboard your boat, you think youíre safe. But you put me in places so hard to find, under piles of junk or buried in lockers so deep that no one will ever know who I am, especially if something happens to you, or if something bad happens very fast, like most accidents do.

Of all of the fatal boating accident victims who drowned, almost 85% werenít wearing a life jacket. I wish I had gotten to know that 85%. Iíll bet their families do, too.

Youíve never taken me out of my new packaging, or let me meet your family or friends. You barely even talk about me. Everyone knows where to find the fishing rods, the cooler full of drinks, or the sunscreen. But me? Hardly anyone knows I exist.

About the only time you talk about me is when you take little boating guests aboard. You put my large adult-size on a small child, thinking Iíll keep them safe. But sadly, all that little guy has to do is put their hands over their head, and poof! Iíve gone up and over their heads. I donít mean to, but I just canít hang on their little bodies. Get a right-sized kids life jacket.

You donít like the way I feel on hot day? I donít like the way you sweat either, but that doesnít stop me from loving you. Iíve slimmed down a lot lately, lost a lot of my size and bulk, and given you lots of room to move around. If you donít believe me, I have a lot of good, comfortable life jacket friends in all shapes, styles and sizes down at the boating supply store looking for a good home.

Just remember, when you need me, I will be there for you. But only if Iím worn, or very easy to get to, like under your seat. While Iím a little hurt that you may not choose to wear me all of the time, try putting me on a little more frequently. Just try it. I wonít tell anyone youíre doing the right thing.
Iím your life jacket. Remember that Iím here to save to your life, but only if youíll let me.