Life jackets also saved duck hunterss

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2005

Wearing a life jacket (PFD) before their boat capsized was the smartest move our young duck hunters made in assuring their safety and yet this was not mentioned in your article of Dec. 16.

The myth that there will be time to put a PFD on before a boat capsizes often has disastrous results. The hunters stated that the boat was turned over in 10 seconds. Would you have time to find your life jacket and get it on before you were in the water?

The PFDs these young people wore allowed their head and neck to stay above the water and gave them the time they needed to plan their rescue and wait for the Coast Guard. They were able to survive the cold water for as long as they did because the PFD did the "swimming" for them which helped them with their breath control and heat retention. The PFD helped them conserve their energy. In cold water, the average person will lose 30 percent more heat by swimming than by remaining still.

Yes, a dry cell phone was a good idea but there are many places in Juneau and on the water around Juneau where there is no service. Survival, with or without a cell phone, would not have been possible for these three men without their PFDs. They don't call them life jackets for nothing and the Coast Guard would have been performing a completely different mission had they not been wearing their PFDs.

Wear a life jacket (PFD) every time you are in a boat. It will make a difference. This is a fact that needed to be mentioned in your Empire article.

Now these three young men and their families can participate in the holidays and not a memorial.

Karen Lawfer


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