Minneapolis, MN (July 15, 2014)- If you are heading to one of Minnesota's many lakes and rivers this summer, you'll be joining thousands of other residents taking advantage of the idyllic Minnesota summers. The enjoyment, however, is not without risk. Far too many Minnesotans drown each year because they didn't know or ignored basic boating safety tips.

Each year, an average of 700 people die in boating-related accidents nationally and nearly 80% of those victims were not wearing a life jacket. Last year, 13 Minnesotans died in recreational boating accidents.

"Many boating-related fatalities are a result of people falling overboard or getting swamped in a small boat and eventually drowning. Those are precisely the type of accidents where a life jacket can make a difference," says Katey Taylor, co-founder of Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation.

Life jackets are now more comfortable, convenient and lightweight than ever before. They come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit every person and  and recreational opportunity. There are even life jackets that can properly fit infants and very small children.

Before you hit the water this summer, Abbey's Hope wants to remind parents and boaters:

a)      Boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable (Type I, II, III, or V) life jacket on board for each person.

b)     Children 12 years of age and younger must wear their life jackets while on the water or even when they are near water like on a dock, but it is highly recommended that ALL boaters wear an approved life jacket while on or near boats.

c)      Avoid overloading your boat with people or equipment. Check the capacity plate for the maximum weight or the maximum number of people the boat can safely carry.

d)     Take a boating safety course before you head out onto the water.

e)      Do not operate a boat or other watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 Learn more about how to stay safe this summer at abbeyshope.org

 

About Abbey’s Hope:

Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained from an improperly maintained pool drain cover.

The foundation’s goal is to:

  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning. 

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://abbeyshope.org.

 

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The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

Read More

Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips