National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Mark Rosenker will speak at the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) conference on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 at 12:00 pm. The speech will be held at the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
The recent capsizing of the passenger vessel Taki Tooo in Tillamook Bay, Oregon this past weekend, adds focus to the Safety Board's continuing efforts to emphasize the importance of using personal flotation devices (PFDs). Although the investigation is ongoing, it is crucial to point out that none of the individuals who perished in this accident were wearing PFDs.
"Personal flotation devices save lives," said NTSB Vice Chairman Mark Rosenker. "They are as effective for boaters as the seat belts are in your car."
The Safety Board is committed to promoting recreational boating safety on our nation's waterways by increasing the number of recreational boaters who wear PFDs. Coast Guard 2001 statistics on recreational boating safety found that in 73 percent of the drownings, the boater was not wearing a PFD. Eighty four percent of those who drowned may have survived if they were wearing PFDs.
An example of the Board's advocacy for the use of the PFDs is the aggressive steps taken to protect children when they are on the waterways. The Board has asked states to require the use of PFDs by all children aboard recreational boats. In spite of a Coast Guard requirement for children under 13 to wear PFDs on federal waters, six states and three territories still do not require children under 13 to wear PFDs on state waters.
"We must put our children first when it comes to safety," said Vice Chairman Rosenker. "By doing this, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of families across America who enjoy recreational boating."
The Board is continuing to work closely with the states and the PFDMA to ensure that PFDs are required for children and that adults will see the value of wearing PFDs for their own safety.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.