COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Summer is a wonderful time, but it can be deadly.
Two boaters lost their lives recently at Lake Oliver when they entered the water without lifejackets. Then, a teenager fell into the Chattahoochee last Thursday, again, without a lifejacket.
It's tempting to believe most water drownings happen at sea, in an ocean.
But in reality – and as we have seen too often already this summer - lakes and rivers are where nine out of 10 drownings occur.
Even more startling: according to the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association, 85 percent of people who drown in boating accidents chose not to wear an available lifejacket.
Common sense and statistics like these make it obvious that anyone in a boat -- no matter how deep or shallow the water, no matter how high the temperature or the time of day -- should always wear a lifejacket.
It's simply irresponsible to ride in a boat and not wear a life-vest.
It's also against the law.
Modern lifejackets are made to keep the wearer upright in the water, so that even if they hit their head, they can still breathe until help arrives.
If you own or rent a boat, do the right thing and insist your passengers always wear a lifejacket.
If you're just a passenger, don't be shy. Ask for a life-vest and put it on.
It's such an easy way to make sure you and the ones you love can enjoy many, many carefree summers.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
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