BOATING DEATH: Lifevests Could Have Saved Lives
The DNR has released the name of a man killed in a boating accident on Saylorville Lake.
Authorities were called to the lake after a boater found two children in the water near an unoccupied boat. Rescuers arrived within minutes and took the children to safety.
Rescuers then found the boat’s owner, 40-year old Eric Scott of Urbandale, unconscious in the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities say the difference between life and death today was life vests.
Deputy Jana Rooker said, “The two kids both did have life preservers on which definitely made a big difference. Water’s unpredictable.”
The number of boating fatalities in Iowa has doubled over last year. The Iowa DNR says not wearing life jackets is the number one cause.
DNR Boating Law Administrator Susan Stocker says, “over 89 percent of the fatalities involved with a boating incident are caused by drowning because they’re not wearing their life jackets.”
Four people died in boating accidents in 2011, we have already seen eight deaths this year.
Authorities say our warm spring put boats on the water earlier, and the hot summer has boaters spending more time on the water to keep cool, but the increase in boating hasn’t been met by an increase in life jacket use.
Stocker says the development of new, less bulky options should be beneficial. The latest life jacket technology offers a very lightweight option that automatically inflates if you fall into the water unconscious.
Since 2007, all boat passengers 12-and-under are required to wear life jackets.