Drowning prevention group advocating for life jackets
The Inland Northwest Drowning Prevention Coalition, which includes several local rescue organizations and other agencies, is campaigning to encourage boaters and anyone else around water to wear a life jacket this summer.
A release from the Spokane Regional Health District and the coalition said Big 5 Sporting Goods stores will offer 25 percent-off coupons for life jackets through Sept. 30.
In Washington, drowning is the third-leading cause of unintentional injury death for people under the age of 50.
Teens, especially boys, are at a higher risk of drowning because they are more likely to take risks and less likely to wear a life jacket, the release said.
“Anyone planning a river activity like kayaking, canoeing, rafting or floating on a tube should always check river levels and conditions before leaving home,” the release said. “Runoff from mountain snowmelt and rain can create cold, high, fast-moving water that can carry debris and be treacherous even for strong swimmers.”