BoatUS’ "I’m Your Life Jacket, But You Don’t Know Me” Making Headlines for National Safe Boating Week

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As we approach National Safe Boating Week, May 17-13, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers a fictional account of an underappreciated life jacket that has been getting media attention.

Life Jackets

I don’t like the way you sweat either, but that doesn’t stop me from loving you.

The nation’s largest advocacy, safety and services organization, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has released a new first person account of what it feels like to be an under-used and under-appreciated life jacket. The Association drafted the fictional short story to highlight National Boating Safety Week May 17-23 in a completely different way from traditional safe boating messages. Officially released yesterday, “I’m Your Life Jacket…” is receiving attention from the press for putting a creative spotlight on the need for boaters to wear their life jackets. Said BoatUS Vice President Public Affairs Scott Croft, “I think this story resonates with boaters, and it’s making them take an honest look at their own boat’s life jackets.”

Here is the story about what it feels like to be a life jacket:

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

I’m your life jacket, but you don’t know me. I’m here to help you, maybe even save your life – but only if you’re willing to take the help. Maybe National Safe Boating Week (May 17 – 23) will help remind everyone that I’m here for you?

You think you may know me, but you really don’t. Because the law says you have to keep me aboard your boat, you think you’re 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% weren’t wearing a life jacket. I wish I had gotten to know that 85%. I’ll bet their families do, too.

You’ve 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 I’ll keep them safe. But sadly, all that little guy has to do is put their hands over their head, and poof! I’ve gone up and over their heads. I don’t mean to, but I just can’t hang on to their little bodies. Get a right-sized kids life jacket.

You don’t like the way I feel on a hot day? I don’t like the way you sweat either, but that doesn’t stop me from loving you. I’ve slimmed down a lot lately, lost a lot of my size and bulk, and given you lots of room to move around. If you don’t 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 I’m worn, or very easy to get to, like under your seat. While I’m 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 won’t tell anyone you’re doing the right thing.

I’m your life jacket. Remember that I’m here to save to your life, but only if you’ll let me.


About BoatUS:

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour dispatch, on water boat towing as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits including marina and service discounts, and vital information that improves recreational boating. Its member-funded BoatUS Foundation is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating and offers range of boating safety courses – including 33 free state courses – that can be found at

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D. Scott Croft
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS)
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