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Power for Progress: Life jacket tips and recent statistics

Power for Progress: Life jacket tips and recent statistics

Wear it!
This week GRDA offers some nationwide life jacket usage tips, and some important reminders for everyone headed to the lake or river this weekend.

Power for Progress…

  A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Life jacket tips and recent statistics


The Grand River Dam Authority understands that being a good steward of the Grand River and the natural resources under its control also means helping educate and support all those who utilize those resources.

Because of that, the GRDA Police have made life jacket education and awareness a major part of its efforts for several decades now. On the water, in the classroom, at special events, from inside its booth at a boat show and just about anywhere else that an audience can listen and learn, you can find GRDA patrolmen promoting the benefits of life jackets and other personal flotation devices (PFDs).

And it’s a message that needs to be told. According to statistics from the latest Life Jacket Wear Rate Observation Study (2022), released by the United States Coast Guard, the average wear rate for all boaters combined that year was 23.6 percent. While that number represents the highest rate observed in several years, there is still plenty of room for improvement. After all, statistics also found that 75 percent of all 2023 fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drownings, 87 percent were NOT wearing a life jacket.

If you are going to be on the lakes or river for the July 4 holiday or any other time, GRDA encourages you to ALWAYS wear your life jacket. As you head to the water, please keep these tips in mind:

  • Buy your own personal life jacket. One size DOES NOT fit all.
  • Look at the label. It will provide the weight, size, and proper use information.
  • Try it on to check the fit. Once the straps and buckles are secured, it should not slip over your head or come down above your ears.
  • Never use water toys in place of an approved life jacket.
  • Check your life jacket year for flotation and fit.
  • Finally, wear your life jacket to increase your chance of survival in an accident and to set a good example for others

Your friends at GRDA want you to have a safe, enjoyable time on the water. That always starts with wearing your life jacket.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: employees, electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, and efficiency.


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