Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Child's drowning.
I raised a child from her birth on our circumnavigation, long before anyone ever considered rules or laws about life jackets on children or adults. They were big, bulky uncomfortable, and honestly, wearing one could be more hazardous than not.
Therefore, we had RULES! She was not allowed to be outside the cabin, even in the cockpit, when there was no adult up there when she was very young. Until she was over 7 she was never allowed on deck at sea without holding an adult's hand, but after she could swim and understand when she could swim, she was allowed on deck at anchor or in a marina.
The only time I put her in a lifejacket was during a storm in the Atlantic which killed 12 people I know of, including Alan Colas. I put her in my bunk near the cockpit w/an EPIRB, but conditions were very dangerous and the boat was in danger of capsizing or pitchpoling.
Some years later, as a commercial captain operating day tours on sailing or fishing charters, children were exempt from the laws requiring children to wear lifejackets, but my crews were trained to be especially aware of the children's position and actions aboard.
I'm of mixed feelings about requiring children or adults to wear PFD's as sometimes required protection gives one a feeling of safety that the protective item does not fully guaranty. Education, situational awareness (by parents especially) and common sense, are much more protection, though probably in short supply in the general boating public, than laws, IMO.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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Last edited by capta; 07-14-2019 at 02:04 PM.