Don't be an olive in a very cold Martini

It seems that nearly every year, we learn of a tragic accident that has occurred on local waters due to boaters disregarding the necessity of wearing a personal flotation devices, (PFD).

Sadly, these accidents typically involve a boat or canoe capsizing during the early spring, and the occupants were not wearing PFD's.

Although many complain that ife jackets are uncomfortable, cumbersome and rather restraining; considering the option, so is a casket.

Waterproof yourself! Wear a PFD at all times on the water, it is the only life insurance available against the cold, deadly waters of ice out. Protect yourself with the simple act of "tying one on". In New York state, it is now the law, just the same as buckling your seat belt.

In an effort to reduce boating fatalities, New York was the first state in the nation to require that life jackets be worn on vessels up to 21 feet during the coldest months of the year.

The new law also includes kayaks, row boats, canoes, sailboats and motorboats for anyone in or on a boat from November 1 to May 1. This is in addition to existing law that requires children under 12 to always wear a PFD. Seat cushions don't count; a PFD must be secured on the person.

The law recognizes that small boats, cold waters and the lack of a life jacket is a lethal combination. About 90 percent of all the people who have died in US boating accidents, were not wearing life jackets.

Although there are far fewer boating accidents during the months of April, May, October and November, the fatality rate from such boating accidents is much higher due to the cold water and the fact that boaters are usually heavily bundled up.

In the United States, drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death for children and the third highest for adults. Fully 25 percent of all boating fatalities occur during the early spring or late fall.

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