Coast Guard: Waders will not save your life, life jackets will

Published 11:28 am Thursday, December 16, 2021

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As temperatures continue to fall across the mid-Atlantic, the Coast Guard has issued a reminder that waders are not a substitute for life jackets.

“Waders are great at keeping you warm and dry, but if you fall into the water they can act as an anchor, making a precarious situation much more dangerous if not paired with a life jacket,” stated a Coast Guard press release.

Coast Guard-approved life jackets can be worn over waders and will allow you valuable time to get to safety if you happen to end up in the water. In 2020, 75% of victims from boating accidents drowned as a result, stated the release. Of that 75%, 86% were not wearing life jackets.

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“Whether you’re fishing or hunting, on land or by boat, the most important thing you can bring with you is a life jacket,” said Lt. Cmdr. Katherine Blue, Coast Guard Fifth District public affairs officer. “We see it time and time again. A good day out on the water can turn bad very quickly. Having a life jacket on makes our job easier and increases your chance of getting back home to your loved ones.”