Miss St. Croix Launches Life Jacket Campaign

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

St. Croix, USVI - Chenisse Blanchard (front) gets to ride along from Coast Guard Lt. John Atkins in a kayak after she was shown how to wear her life jacket properly. Photo by Auxiliarist Robert Fabich.

Miss St. Croix is lending her voice to educate the public on one of the Coast Guard’s most important safety messages.

Article by Auxiliarist Robert Fabich, Christiansted, VI

Contributions by Auxiliarist Steve White, Lake Lanier, GA

St. Croix, USVI - Miss St Croix Deidre Dubois (left) helps Chenisse Blanchard (center), a student at Ricardo Richards School, to properly put on her life jacket with the help of Auxiliarist Lee Elvins (right) and USCG Lt. John Atkins (back left). Photo by Auxiliarist Robert Fabich.

WEAR IT” is a message that could save lives. The message is simple. Wearing a life jacket is essential no matter who you are, how well you think you can swim, or how long you have been boating.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Miss St. Croix Deidra Dubois is spreading the message to help teach boaters how to properly wear a life jacket and the importance of having proper equipment, such as well-maintained life jackets.

“Conveying the United States Coast Guard boating safety message to wear a life jacket is essential, especially for the children,” Ms. Dubois explained.

In February, USCG Auxiliarist Lee Elvins, along with Coast Guard Lt. John E. Atkins, Supervisor of the Resident Inspection Office in St. Croix, were on hand at the Miss St Croix life jacket campaign launch on St. Croix Island; to explain how the life jackets of today may not be what many people envision. Many are lightweight, easy to put on, and come in various sizes, styles, and shapes for every person, sport, and even pets.

St. Croix, USVI - Auxiliarist Lee Elvins helps Miss St Croix Deidre Dubois into a kayak where Chenisse Blanchard was ready and waiting to hit the waterway. Photo by Auxiliarist Robert Fabich.

Last year, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,604 accidents that involved 672 deaths and 3,153 injuries. Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88 percent were not reported to be wearing a life jacket.

This year during National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25) and throughout her campaign, Miss St. Croix will remind boaters to practice safe and responsible boating, to always wear their life jackets, and to be alert and aware while on the water.

USCG Auxiliary strives to educate the public about life jackets throughout the year. “Boating activities remain busy year-round on St. Croix,” said USCG Auxiliarist John Harrison. “Life jackets can save lives.”

Basic understanding of the importance of life jackets can be taught at any age. To learn more about life jackets and the “WEAR IT” program, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com. For additional information about the USCG Auxiliary visit www.cgaux.org.

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  1. Tom Clark says:

    My father literally threw me in the water at age two. I have been swimming and loving it ever since. Wearing your life jacket is like buckling up, play it safe.

  2. Rob says:

    Good article dad!

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