Parks and Rec officials hope PSA convinces people to wear life jackets

Jun 26, 2019, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm
(Photo: Adam Sotelo, KSL TV, June 16, 2019)...
(Photo: Adam Sotelo, KSL TV, June 16, 2019)
(Photo: Adam Sotelo, KSL TV, June 16, 2019)

WASATCH FRONT – Deadly boating accidents are on the rise in Utah, and state officials say the vast majority of them can be prevented.  So, they’re releasing their boating safety PSA earlier than they planned.

With six fatalities on the water already, the Division of Parks and Recreation is extremely concerned.  That’s two-thirds the number we saw in all of 2018.  Boating Manager Ty Hunter says they’re seeing an alarming number of people deciding not to wear their jackets.

“Seven percent of Utahns only voluntarily wear their life jackets,” Hunter says.

State law requires that these vests be available for everyone who is on the boat, but, not everyone is required to wear them.  Kids under the age of 13 are required, and Hunter says they are seeing better compliance with that.

He says, “We’re seeing less and less kids that are being caught without jackets on.”

However, he believes many people overestimate their ability to swim in extremely cold water if they were to fall from the boat.

“You’re going to be hyperventilating.  You can’t control your breathing and if you can’t stay afloat, you may be aspirating water into your lungs at that point in time,” he says.

The division estimates that roughly 80 percent of boating deaths involve someone who wasn’t wearing the device.  Some of these cases have happened just in the last few months.

Hunter says, “Just recently, there was, at East Canyon Reservoir, a swimmer that left a boat to swim away from it, and could not make it back to the boat.”

He also says most accidents don’t involve harsh water conditions.  Most of them happen with little wind and with two-foot waves.

Today’s Top Stories


video game...
Elizabeth Weiler

BYU students win international award for video game

SALT LAKE CITY — Students apart of the animation program at BYU received international recognition from the Rookie Awards for developing and producing a video game. Additionally, the “Highly Commended” also helped BYU earn the global ranking of fifth top video game design school.  The interactive computer game in question is titled Liminus: The Silent Guard, it […]
1 day ago
Utah's film festival...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah’s film festival screens an all-Utah cast for Marylin Monroe film

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Aa film with an all-Utah cast and crew  has been selected by Utah’s Film Festival for a screening, part of the festival’s monthly screening series.  “Marilyn Monroe’s Last Press Conference”, is an independent film written and directed by Frank H. Cutler of Thunderbolt Alley Productions. According to Thunderbolt Alley Film, the […]
1 day ago
avalanche in Utah is pictured...
Mark Jones

Avalanche warning issued in Utah through Saturday morning

On Thursday afternoon, an Avalanche Warning was issued by the Utah Avalanche Center through Saturday morning at 6 a.m.
2 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jackson

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water released this week

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water was released Wednesday by Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies.
2 days ago
Utah is known as bear country. Black bears can be drawn to the scent of food from miles away. Photo...

The DWR to update management of black bears

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will update its policy on black bear management in 2023 after 11 years.
3 days ago
crowded zion national park...
Mark Jones

Seasonal shuttle service, camping availability announced at Zion

Fall shuttle service into Zion National Park ended Sunday. It will resume for 10 days beginning on Dec. 23 and running through Jan. 1, 2023.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Parks and Rec officials hope PSA convinces people to wear life jackets