Learning To Wear A Life Jacket—The Hard Way

Salty Jefferson says, “Just wear the PFD, will ya?”

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As a United Stated Coast Guard nonprofit grant recipient, the Water Sports Sports Foundation produces paddling safety outreach materials and distributes them through boating and paddling media providers.

Paddlesports currently has an inordinately high rate of accidents and deaths that for the past five years has been increasing, while power boating stats have been decreasing during the same period.

The goal is to create heightened public awareness of safer paddling making paddlesports safer and to ultimately reduce the total number of paddlesports-related deaths annually.

Salty Jefferson talks about life jacket safety
Image: Water Sports Foundation/YouTube

Speaker 1: This is going to be the best camping trip ever.

Speaker 2: I just went to the big box store and I got 2000 rolls of toilet paper, 50 pounds of tri-tip, and these great recreational sit inside kayaks.

Speaker 1: Don’t people usually use life jackets with these things?

Salty Jefferson: I learned that lesson the hard way.

Speaker 2: Paddling legend, Salty Jefferson?

Salty Jefferson: My buddy Shaggy Brad and I were out with the old two man cruising for babes. We saw a few on a cigarette boat with some dudes. Shaggy didn’t have a life jacket cause he liked to show off his guns. I had mine on, got a couple extra nipples I like to keep protected from the UV. But the boyfriends weren’t impressed. They hit the throttle and we hit the water and I never saw Shaggy again. That’s why I always wear my life jacket, because safety first, but also the nipples.

Wear A Life Jacket
  • Everyone, even strong swimmers, needs to wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. It is extremely difficult to put a life jacket on once you fall into the water. Even a light wind can blow any paddlecraft away from you, faster than you can swim.
  • Always wear a USCG-approved Level 70 or Type III life jacket designed for paddling.


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  1. Increasing paddling accidents could be attributed to the crappy rec boats sold by big box stores without adequate flotation and a lack of training.


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